Webflow and Shopify are trusted and feature-laden website builders, which have already gained recognition with millions of users across the globe. The systems are regularly updated by their developers to come up to the latest web design trends. Both of them are equally powerful, yet each service has its niche specialization that make it a perfect choice for certain user categories.
Webflow – is a DIY website builder, the extensive feature set and flexibility of which make it similar to contemporary Content Management Systems like WordPress. Shopify – is a top eCommerce software, which currently empowers millions of websites across the globe. It works great for the development of all types of online stores, irrespective of their complexity, size and industry focus.
Website Builders Comparison Chart
|Best for:||Business websites, landing pages, online stores, blogs, portfolios||eCommerce projects|
|Templates:||Multiple free and paid responsive designs, sorted by industry||Dozens of free and paid responsive themes|
|Technical Support:||Webflow University, extensive knowledge base, email, live chat, blog, video tutorials, forum||Help Center, Live Chat, Forum, eCommerce University|
|Blogging Options:||Integrated blogging platform||Built-in blogging engine|
|SEO Options:||Advanced SEO optimization||Powerful SEO settings|
|Pricing:||Free to $212/mo||Free to $9/mo|
|More info:||Webflow Review →||Shopify Review →|
Both website builders have much to offer to their target audience as they are full-featured and credible. Which of them, however, is a more preferable choice? What system can be considered the winner of the comparison or both of them are worth the investment? To answer these and other system-related questions, we have analyzed Shopify and Webflow.
Webflow vs Shopify: General Overview
Webflow is a complex cloud website builder, which mainly targets professional web designers and agencies. Thus, the system requires a more deliberate and smart approach to the website development process. Coding skills and preliminary web design experience are also preferable, when working with the platform. This doesn’t mean, however, that beginners won’t be able to work with the system. It’s just that they might need more time and patience to explore and master its feature set to the advantage.
Complicated web design approach and intricate process of website creation make the system similar to popular Content Management Systems. At the same time, the website builder encompasses some of the most distinctive features of Adobe Software programs. This allows users complete quality professional projects for commercial and non-commercial use without hiring third-party web developers.
Webflow was first introduced to the market in 2012. According to recent stats, the number of live websites launched with the platform has exceeded 121 262 projects, while the general amount of the system subscribers has reached 231 735 people. This number keeps growing on a regular basis.
Shopify is the world-known eCommerce software, which makes it possible to start and manage different types of online stores – from simple projects and up to complicated feature-laden online hypermarkets. The platform has distinguished itself as the leader of the eCommerce niche due to its flexibility, functionality and reasonable pricing policy. This allows the system users to get the most out of its performance and multi-faceted nature.
Shopify was launched in 2004 and it has gained worldwide popularity and recognition since that time. The software abounds in eCommerce tools that are a must, when it comes to web store development and management. The system also comes with lots of widgets, services and apps needed for successful marketing and promotion services.
Currently, the number of live web stores powered by Shopify has exceeded 1 422 815 projects, while the overall amount of the system subscribers has reached 3 280 925 users living around the world.
To sum it up, both Webflow and Shopify make it possible to start and manage online stores. The website builders come with integrated functionality and abundance of design customization tools needed to run projects of this type. Shopify, however, focuses exclusively on web store development and this is what gives the software prevalence over its competitor.
Webflow vs Shopify: Which One Is Easier to Use?
Webflow is not the easiest website builder you can find in the contemporary web design market. As mentioned in our previous comparisons, the website builder initially targets professional web developers and design agencies. This already implies that the platform is not quite easy to explore and master right from the start. Even though, the system offers quick and easy sign up process, it still comes with a confusing dashboard and control panel that may seem oversaturated with tools and features.
If you don’t have enough coding skills or at least preliminary web design experience, you will definitely require more time to get used to the interface and structure of the service. When you reach the control panel of the website, you will discover that it abounds in sections, elements and categories, while its toolset will impress you by its versatility and diversity. Additionally, the website builder allows using the advanced HTML editor to create personalized website design.
Webflow customer support is on the top notch level. Regardless of the professional focus of the system, it still considers the educational factor crucial for each and every user. With this purpose, the service has introduced Webflow university – the place, where users may come across all the required system-related info. It doesn’t matter, whether you’re stuck with Webflow and wish to switch from it or there are other system nuances you are interested in, Webflow university is definitely the place to access.
There are lots of text and video tutorials, manuals and other helpful resources to use in order to start creating websites with the system. A blog and a forum will also be helpful to users seeking information about the website builder. If you need individual assistance from the system experts, Webflow will eagerly provide live chat and email support 24/7.
Shopify features exceptional ease of use, regardless of the high end functionality. The system comes with a rich dashboard, which is quite easy to understand and get used to. Shopify has a drag-and-drop intuitive editor, which contributes to the ease of the website development process. Due to the simple content editor, the procedure of website creation becomes much simplified, while extensive dashboard settings grant access to a broad range of tools, including logos, style and font settings, choice of website elements and other design customization options.
Apart from the design settings, Shopify also boasts an extensive template choice, customization of which does not imply any coding skills at all. The platform also boasts a variety of integrated eCommerce features that allow for deep and flexible design customization. Thus, Shopify functionality does not compromise with ease of use and this is what appeals to the majority of system users.
The software also has much to offer in terms of customer support. There are several options you may choose from to find the required information about the platform. Thus, you can review guides and tutorials available in the powerful Knowledge Base of the system. There is also a regularly updated forum, where you can browse the available threads and even create those of your own, if you can’t find the required info for some reason.
When it comes to individual assistance, Shopify allows using phone, email and live chat options 24/7. Just like Webflow, Shopify grants access to the eCommerce University, where you will come across multiple webinars, eBooks, videos and other web-based resources providing information about the software.
When it comes to the ease of use, Webflow seems to be a bit more complicated system. Its dashboard, control panel and overall user interface require more time for exploration and they also imply the awareness of coding skills. Shopify, in its turn, is simpler to master, but the service still offers a wider choice of design editing tools needed to start and manage a web store.
Webflow vs Shopify: Design and Flexibility
Webflow and Shopify both have much to offer to their subscribers in terms of functionality, flexibility and design customization options. The website builders abound in tools and features that are a must, when it comes to web store development and their further management. The systems stand out from the crowd due to their exceptional performance, but to define the leader of the comparison, it still makes sense to compare their major features. Read on to read this comparison now.
Webflow comes with the integrated eCommerce platform, which is one of the strong features of the system. The engine makes it possible to start and effectively manage small and midsize web stores, while starting hypermarkets with the system may be somewhat complicated because of the limited eCommerce functionality of the software. That’s quite understandable, however, as the website builder is not meant for eCommerce website development only.
When running web stores with Webflow, you will be able to integrate and customize a shopping cart into your project, create, manage and update product galleries and lists of items/services you plan to offer for sale, adjust payment/shipping/tax parameters etc. Webflow has recently made it possible to implement special offers and discounts to boost users’ shopping experience. It has also become possible to collect and save customers’ information that can be further used for marketing and web store promotion purposes. The choice of eCommerce templates and design customization tools is pretty extensive here as well.
Shopify is the leader of the eCommerce web design niche and, thus, its feature set is geared exclusively towards web store development. The software allows starting various types of eCommerce projects, ranging from simple and medium webs tores and up to huge online hypermarkets with thousands of products available in stock.
The platform grants access to multiple eCommerce-specific features provided out-of-the-box that are a must, when it tackles web store development. The software lets you effectively create and manage all types of product galleries, adding and editing physical and digital items offered for sale. The system is rich in advanced and fully-customizable eCommerce templates that work great for the prevailing amount of needs of web store owners.
When working on web store creation with Shopify, users can create professional product galleries, introduce loyalty programs, discounts and special offers. The software also makes it possible to pick and use high end marketing, web store promotion and product management tools to ensure the best shopping experience ever. Shopify also excels at integration options, Augmented Reality tools, synchronization and security solutions, multilingual and multichannel support as well as analytic and statistics tracking tools. These are only several features that make Shopify stand out from the crowd, when it comes to eCommerce website creation.
Speaking about the eCommerce aspect, Shopify is the unspeakable leader of the comparison. Geared towards web store development, the software eccles at eCommerce creation. Weflow can also be used for this purpose, but its integrated eCommerce feature set is somewhat limited.
Third-Party Integrations and Special Features
Webflow boasts distinctive integrated functionality and it can be used for the impressive variety of website creation options. As mentioned above, the website builder resembles the CMS in terms of functionality, but you should also know that it is much simpler as compared to lots of other Webflow alternatives. The platform initially focuses on the needs of web design pros, which correspondingly implies that it comes with advanced design customization tools, HTML/CSS editor, powerful blogging and integration options. Thus, Webflow makes it possible to integrate custom HTML codes into header and footer of a website you work on. The system also integrates with Zapier, After Effects, Lottie and other services that can improve your website performance.
Shopify also allows integrating with third-party services that can notably boost web store performance. The system makes it possible to successfully integrate with Xero and Quickbooks as well as with quality accounting software and some other third-party services. Likewise, it is possible to integrate external widgets, blogs, numerous trading solutions, high end reporting features etc. The software boasts a professional App Store, where one can pick and integrate third-party widgets and add-ons, which can be both free and paid. Augmented Reality tool the system boasts will also improve your web store performance, making it possible to provide 3D product visualization. This helps simplify the shopping process for the prevailing amount of customers willing to get the most out of products’ performance.
As to the integrations aspect, both systems offer a set of features to be used during your web store development process. Shopify, however, offers more features and integrations related to eCommerce website creation. This is another advantage of the software.
Webflow boasts a pretty nice collection of quality templates. The only look at the most impressive Webflow examples gives clear vision and understanding of the platform’s design customization options. Currently, the template collection of the service includes more than 200 professional themes. This number keeps steadily growing due to the effort of the system web designers.
Webflow templates are both paid and free, although the number of free themes is less than that of paid ones. Users may choose around 30 free designs, while the cost of paid templates starts with $24 to reach up to $79 per theme. However, experts underline that there is no big difference between premium and standard designs.
The system allows choosing several template versions for the main website pages, including Homepage, Contacts, Reviews, Services/Products etc. Webflow also comes with the preview option, which lets you see all the details of a template you are going to pick in details. What’s more, there is an opportunity to select an absolutely blank canvas to create a 100% personalized design with regard to the niche your business focuses on.
Shopify comes with a collection of professional and appealing templates, which are also available in free and paid versions. Mind that the number of free themes is less than that of paid ones – as of today, there are around 10 free themes, but their quality is not on the sufficient level.
To improve template quality, users may apply HTML/CSS editing skills, but this can be done by coding experts only. Speaking about paid designs, Shopify offers over 60 quality themes. All of them are professional, visually-appealing and customizable. For user convenience, all the templates are divided into categories based on the topics they belong to. Shopify designs are responsive, but their cost is above the average. Keep that in mind, when making the final choice.
Webflow and Shopify are worthy competitors in terms of design development and template customization. Although Shopify template collection is not that extensive and rich as compared to that of Webflow, it is still worth the attention due to their quality and customizability. However, Shopify designs are also more expensive as compared to those developed by Webflow.
Webflow vs Shopify: General Pricing Comparison
Webflow currently offers one of the most versatile pricing approaches. In this respect, it can be compared with Wix. Whether you compare the website builder with Adobe Muse or with any other system, this feature will remain one of the highlights of the platform. The website builder has an absolutely free never-expiring plan, which, however, is somewhat limited in terms of design customization and project functionality. A free plan does not have any code exporting or banner removal feature plus it allows building websites on the system subdomain only.
As to the paid subscriptions, Webflow has two large groups of plans (Site and Account plans), which are further subdivided into small groups of subscriptions (Website, eCommerce, Individual and Team plans that are, correspondingly, divided into more detailed groups of subscriptions). Here is a more detailed specification of Webflow plans and the terms/services they offer:
One of the highlights of the Website Plans are as follows:
- Basic – $12/mo (nice solution for simple websites that don’t require the use of CMS) – CDN availability, domain connection, 500 form submissions, free SSL certificate connection.
- CMS – $16/mo (works well for blogs and other content-driven projects) – 2000 CMS items, limited CMS API, 1000 form submissions, site search, 3 content editors.
- Business- $36/mo (great pick for high traffic marketing projects or full-featured blogs) – unlimited form submissions, 10 content editors, full CMS API, advanced global CDN etc.
eCommerce plans, correspondingly, include:
- Standard – $29 (perfect for new businesses that have to be promoted on the web) – email customization, all features of the CMS plan plus custom checkout and shopping cart, 2% transaction fee, integrated CMS for blogs.
- Plus – $74 (works great for larger businesses that require extra features) – 10 staff accounts, all features of the Business plan plus unbranded emails, zero transaction fee.
- Advanced – $212 (superb solution for users, who intend to scale and reach new heights for their web-based businesses) – unlimited yearly sales volumes, all features of the Business plan plus 15 staff accounts and more.
Account plans also fall into two types of plans. These include Individual and Team subscriptions. Individual plans are as follows:
- Free – $0 (encompasses everything you need to get started with Webflow) – 2 projects, client billing, free staging.
- Lite- $16 (allows exporting website code and unlocking extra pages for your unhosted projects) – unlimited project transfers, 10 projects, code export, enhanced staging.
- Pro – $35 (perfect solution for web designers and freelancers, who need more projects and look for premium options) – White Labeling, site password protection, unlimited projects.
As to the Team Plans, these encompass:
- Team – $35 per person (allows making use of team collaboration options and shared website access) – all Pro plan features along with code export, team dashboard, client billing option, enhanced staging etc.
- Enterprise – the cost is discussed individually with Webflow experts (this especially concerns the teams of 25 users and more) – all features of the Team plan plus team dashboard, White Labeling, unlimited projects, site password protection etc.
site builder is its client billing solution, which lets freelancers use the feature set of the service, paying a certain sum of money to a client.
Shopify offers four paid subscriptions based on the size and complexity of a web store you need. Users may choose from Lite, Basic Shopify, Shopify and Advanced Shopify subscriptions. Each of them offers a distinctive feature set required to complete a certain project. Have a look at them now:
- Shopify Lite ($9/mo) – a great plan for those, who want to start selling via social networks or connect an existing website to the Shopify platform. The subscription involves an opportunity to sell the unlimited number of products, 70+ payment gateways, global tax and currency support settings, sales tracking and “Buy” Button etc.;
- Basic Shopify ($29/mo) – works well for a simple digital store and includes free SSL Certificate connection, website and blog integration etc.;
- Shopify ($79/mo) – nice pick for a growing web-based business, the plan offers professional reporting option, gift cards etc.;
- Advanced Shopify ($299/mo) – the plan comes with a set of professional tools for a scaling digital business, it grants access to the professional report builder, real-time carrier shipping and other features.
Shopify doesn’t have any free subscriptions, but it allows testing the feature set of the subscription you are interested in for 14 days at no cost at all.
Speaking about the cost issue, both systems offer a diversity of options. Webflow has more plans as compared to Shopify, but the cost of using both systems is still above the average. However, the feature set and functionality of both platforms as well as the result you will avail in the long run is definitely worth the investment.
Webflow vs Shopify: Which One Is the Best for SEO?
Webflow makes it possible to start websites that are optimized for the search engines by default. What you have to do to make the required SEO settings is to reach the corresponding section in the dashboard of the section. This is where you will be able to fill out the major SEO settings (descriptions, ALT tags for images, titles, keywords) for the entire website as well as for its separate pages. Webflow automatically generates a sitemap for your online store. Additionally, it offers API access to web designers, working on the completion of their projects. Finally, the system lets you connect Google and Facebook services, integrate HTML/CSS codes, enable user IP anonymization option and what not.
Shopify is a SEO-friendly web design software as well. This means that all web stores launched with the system are optimized for the search engines pretty well. Your task is just to reach the SEO section and to fill out the main parameters requested there. The platform makes it possible to adjust standard SEO settings. These include meta tags for separate web pages and sections, titles, descriptions, ALT tags for images etc. Additionally, it is possible to track the statistics of your online store to find out the main parameters that affect its performance, namely traffic amount and its sources, customer behaviour, current positions in the search engines, traffic fluctuations and many more. Just like Webflow, Shopify automatically generates the sitemap for your web store, which eliminates the need to complete the task on your own.
When it tackles the SEO aspect, both platforms make it possible to create web stores that are optimized well for further search engine promotion. The systems let you manually adjust SEO characteristics and they also automatically generate sitemaps to simplify this task for users. The only difference is that Shopify offers more distinctive SEO settings for eCommerce websites because of its niche specialization.
Webflow vs Shopify: Which One Is Better for an eCommerce Website?
Webflow eCommerce options are on the top notch level. The system allows starting and managing full-featured web stores with advanced functionality, but these projects won’t be large-scale as the system is not geared towards eCommerce website development only. Regardless of its complexity, Webflow does not imply the use or knowledge of programming languages.
As we have put it in our Webydo vs Webflow comparison, coding proficiency is desirable, if you wish to get the most out of your eCommerce website development process. This is how you will be able to integrate a shopping cart into your web store, add, update and manage products, create products galleries and collections, issue coupon codes and discounts etc. Webflow, by the way, has recently made it possible to collect and store information customers submit during the checkout process. This will be handy for further website promotion and development. Finally, the website builder introduces convenient payment and shipping options to ensure absolute freedom of choice to each and every customer.
With Webflow, you will be able to create Lightbox galleries, using multiple videos and photos you will choose for this purpose. Additionally, there is an opportunity to integrate AfterEffects and Lottie systems. This might be handy, when it comes to controlling the playback of vector animations through the use of system interactions. Such approach ensures that your website will look more engaging, interactive and professional as compared to those created by niche competitors.
Shopify is an eCommerce-focused software, the feature set of which is centered around the development of web stores only (see examples). The system offers plenty of tools and features that can boost your marketing strategies, payment and shipping services, sales and promotion functionality etc.
The software comes with powerful synchronization options as it allows integrating your account with Quickbooks and Xero services as well as with accounting software and other popular systems. The platform also provides high end product management options, opportunity of integrating external and built-in system widgets, access to third-party trading solutions, blogging engine, advanced reporting features and other unique eCommerce features.
Shopify App store grants access to the marketplace, which has a set of powerful widgets and add-ons that will definitely add functionality to your web store. Another highlight of the eCommerce software is its Augmented Reality feature, which provides 3D visualization of products offered for sale. This can definitely boost web store popularity and may help build customer base as users will be able to see real life images of products they are interested in.
The system is also known for its multichannel support option, which lets you effectively synchronize your account with Amazon Marketplace, Facebook, eBay, Instagram and other popular channels, which can help boost your sales volume and bring your web store popularity to the brand new level. Other features that are worth the attention include SSL Certification, abandoned checkout recovery, Shopcode introduction, fraud protection, multilingual support, advanced web store management options (customer profiles, customer accounts, groups, dropshipping possibilities, email templates, fast order fulfillment etc.).
Shopify marketing features also make the system stand out from its competitors. The most popular of them include the availability of the POS (Point-of-Sale) software, customer profiles, Shopify Ping mobile app, Buy One – Get One discounts, dynamic checkout, Shopify Tap and Chip Reader, advanced retail features, UPS Shopify Shipping feature, web store analytics and many more.
Webflow vs Shopify rank high in terms of functionality, flexibility and feature set. The only difference is that their tools and features target diverse goals. While Shopify features are mainly centered around web store development and management, Webflow is the all-in-one tool used to launch different types of professional projects. As an eCommerce-focused software, however, Shopify is a better pick for professional web store development.
Key Differences Between Webflow and Shopify
|Ease of Use:||Webflow is a cloud website builder, which has distinguished itself due to its powerful feature set and high end web design tools that make it similar to modern CMS. It takes time and skills to master the system and to run websites with it.||Shopify is an easy-to-use and quite intuitive eCommerce software. Its only sphere of application is creation of online stores and this is where the platform doesn’t have any competitors at all. The dashboard of the service is quite understandable even for newbies, while the integrated drag-and-drop editor helps reach quality result with minimum time/effort investment.|
|Functionality:||Webflow delivers outstanding integrated functionality. It is possible to customize a project via code editing here. Additionally, the software is known for its advanced integration options that let you launch different types of simple and complex web projects.||The software grants access to lots of eCommerce-specific features and tools. These are required for effective product and web store management, sales/clients tracking and quality design customization.|
|Design:||Webflow comes with over 200 responsive and customizable templates. The designs are free and paid and there is an opportunity to choose a blank design to customize it from scratch.||Shopify design collection is not rich, but all the themes feature high quality. There are over 70 free and paid designs here, all of which are responsive and fully-customizable.|
|eCommerce:||The website builder allows creating and running small and medium online stores. It comes with a feature-laden integrated eCommerce platform, which grants access to multiple niche-specific features and tools.||As the eCommerce software, Shopify is rich in features and tools. They help create, manage, update and promote small web stores and even large hypermarkets.|
|Blogging:||Webflow comes with a powerful blogging engine. This allows connecting a blog to any project built with the system, including web stores.||The software also includes a quality blogging engine. You can use it to connect a blog to your web store to boost user engagement rate and keep customers aware of your niche news and updates.|
|Small Business:||The website builder can be used to start small business projects, including those meant for eCommerce application.||Shopify can be a nice pick for those small business websites, which are planned to be further transformed into large eCommerce projects.|
|Pricing:||Webflow has a free plan that comes with limitations. There are also two groups of paid plans – Site and Account subscriptions – that also fall into smaller groups. The cost of paid plans starts from $12/mo.||Shopify has a 14-day free trial and four paid plans. Their cost starts from $9/mo.|
|SEO:||Webflow offers standard SEO settings. It is possible to adjust the main SEO parameters here for separate web pages and for the website in general. The system grants API access to web designers and it also automatically generates the sitemap.||Shopify is a SEO-friendly software, which allows optimizing online stores created with it for the search engines by specifying special parameters, using Analytic and stats tracking tools.|
|Customer Support:||Extensive knowledge base, blog, video tutorials, email, Webflow University, forum, live chat.||Informative Forum, Shopify Help Center, eCommerce University.|
Which One Is Better for Online Store: Webflow or Shopify?
The choice of the best web building platform should initially depend upon the objective you pursue and the result you wish to avail in the long run. This also concerns the choice between Webflow and Shopify. The systems are functional and they have much to offer. The only crucial distinction is about the major focus of the systems and their niche specialization.
Webflow – is a full-featured DIY website builder, which allows launching and managing all types of projects. The website builder is not easy to master as its features and tools are mainly geared towards the needs, skills and requirements of web design pros.
Shopify – is the world-known eCommerce software, which works great for the development of online stores only. The platform ensures deep project customization and offers responsive templates as well as eCommerce features and tools that make it a great choice for all user categories.
Which service can hold a leading position? This depends upon the result you expect to avail. While Webflow is the all-in-one service that will work great for all types of projects, Shopify has always been and now remains the undeniable leader of the eCommerce web design niche.