July 13, 2022
5 mins

5 Wordpress plugins you won't need with Webflow

What if you didn't have to pay for the best WordPress plugins, or worry about installation problems?

I'm gonna keep it simple: WordPress plugins kinda suck.

When they work the way they should, it looks great. But sometimes when one of the lights goes out or a fuse blows, you can’t see anything and Christmas is ruined. If you want to get your power-sources back up and running again without hassle, you either need to do some risky repair work that might require a ladder & DIY wiring or worse—you’ll have to hire a professional if the damages extend too deeply.

Web design is the same. If you cobble together a makeshift setup or inherit someone else’s, your website will probably need constant repairs. Holding on to old, out of date plugins and hoping for the best won’t fly when things get tough and you need to

Webflow has a lot of functionality that can replace WordPress plugins, so there’s no need for you to take the risk. Here’s what you need to know about WordPress plugins and how Webflow can replace them.

What are WordPress plugins?

You know WordPress? It’s one of the best website builders out there and it’s been around since 2003. This is a prime example of how quickly time flies when you’re not paying attention, with each year expanding before us in one big amber wave. For context, WordPress became open-source in 2010, and that’s when it really hit its stride.

Wordpress is an open-source product, which means it has some limitations because it's free and open to the public. To get around these limitations, creative developers have made over 50,000 plugins that give If you use Wordpress and are looking for new abilities or ways to fix some of its gaps, you might find plugins that add functionality, like content backups, two-factor authentication & Google analytics connections. Or maybe social sharing is a bigger priority for your business.

You can find wordpress plugins on the plugin directory, which is on wordpress.org. Most of these are for free, but there are versions that you need to pay for too. And there are third party providers too that make them.

Installing new plugins usually involves authorizing a third-party plugin provider to access your wp website through single sign-on or API key. Once you find them on the admin side of your website, you can edit and delete plugins directly within your WordPress dashboard.

Thanks to these features being built-in, you can rest assured it will work out of the box. There's no need for you to install any extra plugins - no more messing around with separate "contact forms", "spam protection" or "on-page search engine optimization".

WordPress is a popular website builder that has strengths and limitations. You’ll need to find some plugins to get all the features you need from your website, but there’s 50,000+ plugin choices out there.

WordPress plugins pros and cons

Plugins can help you out in a pinch. They’re not ideal but they can save you a little bit of trouble and get you back up and running quickly. Here are some pros & cons to think about before installing one:

Pros of WordPress plugins

  • Customization: A lot of people want something specific in their site that you provide. You can enhance your user experience, search visibility, site features, and more using plugins. (That is, if they’re dependable.) When you don’t want it anymore, just uninstall it.
  • With over 50,000+ plugins to choose from, there's bound to be something for your specific needs. The directory has reviews and rankings for each plugin available. If you don’t like the plugin you tried, you can try the next-highest-rated plugin in that category, and so on.
  • Beginner-friendliness: If you’re new to web design, installing a plugin can make you feel like Hackerman. Since most open-source tools are designed for developers, not non-developers, plugins can function as training wheels to help non-developers (like me, hi) create effective websites with advanced features without having to phone a dev friend... in theory. More on that in a bit.
  • If you encounter a problem, often the solution is buried deep within the WordPress plugins. Suppose for example that someone cannot log into their account... If the plugin works and solves your problem, you can go back to actually doing the stuff you like to do, like front-end design or taking naps.

Cons of WordPress plugins 

  • Security is a concern when you consider all the proofreading and editing software you have running on your website, especially if they're third-party widgets. It's important to take the time to read around any new installation agreements and make sure they are legit before installing anything new. This is pretty typical for open-source tools – "buyer" beware, and if someone steals your stuff when you're not looking, you're on your own.
  • Complexity and maintenance:In a perfect world, all of your plugins would work perfectly together - but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Depending on your plugins, you may need to regularly install updates or work around the limitations presented by the plugins themselves. Your plugins should work well together: if they don’t, your site will slow way down. You won’t know this until you install them & try.
  • Plugins are usually built by third party developers and not by the creators of your CMS. They may be trustworthy, but they're not always reputable. If your plugin developer goes out of business tomorrow, you'll be in the same boat as them - with no hosting or data.Empower your team to build their own website with ease and speed.

You pretty much can’t run a WordPress website without plugins. Instantly solving one of your site's problems by installing a plugin is nice, but it often creates technical debt down the road. If you're not a fan of messing with complicated plugins, then you'll like that Webflow does this for you. There's no need to monitor, update or debug them because Webflow takes care of all that for you.

Webflow — the modern WordPress alternative

Empower your team to visually build the most custom, responsive, and secure sites — in a fraction of the time.

WordPress plugins that Webflow replaces

All right, let’s start with the most popular WordPress plugins that Webflow can replace.

Forms

If you want someone to sign up for your newsletter or demo, you need a plugin. You know forms that are on most websites these days? They require the plug-in. To me, this is the web design equivalent of having to draw water from a well to brush your teeth in the morning. As in, shouldn’t there be an easier way to accomplish this incredibly simple task? 

Wordpress.com has a native form builder. The install for Wordpress on a self hosted server is easy, but there are some interesting oddities between Wordpress.com and the regular version of WordPress (e.g., content publishing) And also to be fair, you “technically” can make a form on WordPress without a plugin, in the same way that I “technically” know how to play the guitar. (Meaning: I don’t, but I assume with enough time, fury, and swearing I could figure it out.) Don’t believe me? Look how fun it is to build your own form!

So there are a bunch of other options available and all have their own pros and cons, but it sounds like Jetpack, WPForms, Gravity Forms and Formidable are some of your most popular choices right now. Contact Form 7 is actually one of the best professionally designed ones around so that might also be worth checking out if you didn't already know.

I might not know much, but I think the Webflow design would save me a lot of time when it comes to designing. Using a WordPress plugin would add an extra step which sacrifices time and might just put my workflows at risk.

Askimet

On WordPress, you actually have to install a special spam filter plugin. Otherwise, bots will descend on your forms (which, as you’ll recall, you needed another plugin to build) and comment sections like ants descending on a picnic

On Webflow you should use reCAPTCHA for any forms you share. It protects your form from spam and doesn't require any other installations. Then, use the money you saved to help on other parts of your business.

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO is the most popular search engine optimization plugin, easy to install and full of features. It’s important for your website to have a tidy homepage and meta descriptions so it can be found in search results, redirect dead links and more.

For those who are keeping track at home, you are correct: we have now reached three required plugins from three separate non-WordPress sources, the majority of which demand paid memberships in order to have a functional website. If your commercial website uses Formidable for forms, Askimet for spam, and Yoast SEO Premium, you're suddenly spending $900+ a year on something that Webflow already offers. Although WordPress is free, the expense of employing plugins to meet all of your website's requirements rapidly adds up.

I did some math and found out you can have 170 burgers at Shake Shack for the same amount of money. If you're spending big bucks on plugins, my friend, I think your priorities need to be reassessed. You should start thinking about your migration ASAP!

Elementor

If you aren’t a coding whiz, or will need to collaborate with people who aren’t developers, you’re going to need to use a plugin to design your website. You can’t easily drag-and-drop elements in WordPress like you can in other major web builders without the help of a plugin. Elementor is the most popular plugin for this, and though it is free to use, to get additional roles and custom CSS, you’ll need to fork over $199 a year for Pro (which is 38 burgers).

If you want to try to design your site without a design plugin, WordPress does offer some free templates for designing the look and feel of your site. But using a free WordPress theme dates your site and only helps you blend in with the crowd instead of stand out, which can damage your brand’s reputation.

The Webflow Designer enables you to design with a mix of WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) and code, and the Editor function allows you to invite more surface-level collaborators and content managers, such as your marketing team — without requiring comprehensive training or a plugin for them to make a quick edit and go on with their day.

WooCommerce

If you're looking for a way to sell products on your website, you need to be able to securely process credit card and other payments. WooCommerce is an open-source plugin that turns WordPress sites into custom ecommerce stores - it's free to set up and offers powerful functionality that makes it easy for anyone without programming knowledge to create a beautiful, professional online store.

You may be able to customize your WooCommerce store freely with any themes or integrations, but this may mean you'll have to upgrade or buy additional plugins to support them. Plug ins are the only way, as it were.

There are a lot of themes that come with WooCommerce compatibility, but sometimes you'll need to pay for plugins from other sellers to make your store work.

This Webflow feature requires an additional monthly cost. It's on par with other well-known ecommerce providers like Shopify & BigCommerce. However, it's worth noting that this service doesn't need to be customised or integrated with any other system, so it's much easier to get up and running.

Swap all your WordPress plugins for one straightforward platform

Is your current website a pain to maintain? Tired of all the plugins you've got installed? Ready for a change of scenery and to save money too? Take things over from WordPress by switching to Webflow. Check out the five benefits at https://www.webflow.com/features/5-reasons-wordpress-migrated

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