February 18, 2024
Webflow vs WordPress vs Sanity: What’s the best CMS for B2B websites?
Choosing the best content management system (CMS) for your B2B SaaS website directly impacts your ability to efficiently manage and scale your online presence — including your lead generation efforts. But there’s often an internal dispute within your organization on which platform to pick.
A typical scenario: Your marketing team wants a solution that makes it easier for them to release new landing pages for ad campaigns, the content team wants self-reliance on blog posting, while your developers want a flexible platform that puts them in control of the docs hub.
And you need to weigh in a list of concerns: from rising cyberattacks to your team’s workload capacity to take on a web build project.
To help you select the best CMS for your B2B site, let’s compare Webflow vs WordPress vs Sanity. Looking at specific features and capabilities — e.g., user permission levels, version control, support to third-party plugin integration and more — will help you to make a well-informed decision that best suits your specific needs, whether it’s a corporate blog, a dynamic business site or a complex, custom web application.
While I aim to provide an unbiased overview, I do have a slight preference for WordPress due to its broad popularity and applicability in various settings.
WordPress: The world’s most popular CMS software
WordPress is known for its versatility and user-friendliness, appealing to a wide range of users, from individual bloggers to large corporations.
“WordPress is used by 62.6% of all the websites whose content management system we know. This is 42.8% of all websites.”
This platform, however, has slower performance due to plugins. WordPress websites are a frequent target for cyberattackers; however, these risks can be managed with proper security practices.
Choose WordPress if you want:
- Extensive plugin ecosystem to enhance functionality and customization without needing coding knowledge.
- Large community and support with ample resources, tutorials and forums.
- Ease of use, making it accessible to beginners while providing advanced features for experienced users.
- SEO-friendliness, due to a large number of SEO-focused plugins.
Webflow: Liked for its design-centric interface
Webflow is a standout when it comes to its design-centric features. It enables the creation of visually impressive websites with relative ease. However, it has a limited plugin range, smaller community support and higher costs.
Choose Webflow if you want:
- Visual design and editing capabilities for a greater focus on aesthetics.
- Responsive web design that makes it easier to create mobile-friendly websites.
- Built-in functionalities, for a reduced reliance on plugins.
☝️Need a CMS selection checklist? Here’s my deep dive into WordPress vs Webflow.
Sanity: Headless CMS favored by developers
As a headless content management system, Sanity attracts users seeking more flexibility and control. It’s particularly useful for custom and developer-centric projects. As the platform requires technical expertise, it’s less intuitive for non-developers, with custom development needed for additional functionalities.
Choose Sanity if you want:
- Flexibility for custom and complex projects.
- Creative control, including unique front-end designs.
- Real-time collaboration for team projects.
☝️ Considering a headless CMS? Explore the differences between traditional vs headless CMS.
WordPress vs Webflow vs Sanity: Feature comparison
Let’s compare these three CMS solutions in seven categories.
- User permission levels
- Version control
- Collaboration and GitHub integration
- Styling and formatting
- Markdown support
- Third-party plugin integrations
1. Content management system security
Secure content management systems protect sensitive data and maintain the site’s reliability and trustworthiness.
|Frequently releases updates, including security patches
Offers security plugins with features like firewalls and malware scanning
Has an active developer community that continuously monitors and enhances security
|Common target for cyberattackers due to its popularity
Plugins introduce risks, especially if not updated regularly
Dependent on maintenance, relying on administrators keeping the core, themes and plugins updated
|Manages much of the security, reducing user burden
Handles automatic updates to protect against known vulnerabilities
Provides automatic SSL certificates for secure data transmission
|Users have limited control over the hosting environment
Fewer plugins mean fewer vulnerabilities but also limited security customization
|Offers complete control over data storage and management
Enables web developers to tailor security measures
Offers API-level security, ensuring secure API calls for data integrity
|Implementing and managing security demands technical expertise
Dependent on the development team for security maintenance and updates
The CMS security takeaway
- WordPress offers robust security options through plugins and updates but requires diligent maintenance, especially because it’s a frequent target for cyberattackers.
- Webflow provides a more managed security environment with less customization but reduced web maintenance burden.
- Sanity allows for highly customizable security configurations but requires technical expertise and developer involvement for effective management.
2. User permission levels
Effective management of user permission levels is essential to enhance CMS security. These features enable administrators to define who can access and edit various parts of a website. The goal is to prevent unauthorized changes and potential data breaches. Well-managed user permissions are also important for meeting regulatory compliance and fostering accountability within teams.
Known for flexibility, WordPress offers user roles like:
These roles cater to basic needs, but WordPress also allows for more detailed control through plugins. The User Role Editor plugin, for example, enables the customization of user roles and specific permissions. It’s ideal for larger teams or sites needing strict access control. Here’s what it looks like:
Webflow opts for simplicity, providing basic user roles with less customization compared to WordPress.
This approach suits smaller teams or projects where complex permissions aren’t needed. However, it might be limiting for larger organizations or those requiring more advanced control, as Webflow lacks a plugin system like WordPress.
With greater flexibility in customizing user permissions, Sanity is ideal for teams with technical expertise. But it might be a challenge for non-technical users who need developer help to manage these settings.
The CMS permissions takeaway
|Roles and permissions feature
|Ideal use case
|Easy-to-use roles with expanded customization through plugins
|Teams looking for a versatile choice
|Simplicity due to basic user roles with less customization
|Smaller projects that don't have complex needs
|Teams who are technically skilled
3. CMS version control
Version control is essential for any CMS, especially for teams that need to track changes, identify authors and revert to previous versions when necessary.
Built-in revisions and Git integration with WordPress
WordPress includes a revision system that automatically records changes every time a post or page is updated. So you can:
- See who made changes
- See when changes were made
- Easily revert to earlier versions
It’s ideal for content-rich sites where tracking edits and maintaining a change history is important. For more advanced needs, it integrates with Git repositories, offering a comprehensive solution for custom WordPress themes or plugins. This integration provides detailed tracking and the ability to roll back to specific versions, adding an extra layer of control and security for website development.
Basic version control with Webflow
Webflow offers some level of version history but lacks the detailed tracking and control provided by WordPress. This limitation might be a concern for those who frequently need to track changes and revert to specific versions. It’s suitable, however, for smaller to medium-sized projects where complex version history isn’t as crucial.
Sanity: Advanced control with Git integration
Sanity provides advanced version control with Git integration, similar to WordPress. This feature is especially useful for projects needing detailed version tracking and the flexibility to revert to any previous version. The Git integration offers a high level of control and security, making Sanity a strong option for teams with technical expertise.
Content management system version control takeaway
|Version control feature
|Easy-to-use content revision system with the option to integrate with Git for more complex needs
|Non-technical teams as well as developers due to versatility
|Basic version control
|Smaller projects but potentially insufficient for larger, more intricate websites
|Advanced version control through Git integration
|Developer-centric projects that need detailed tracking and versioning flexibility
4. Collaboration and GitHub integration
Effective collaboration tools enable team members to work together smoothly, regardless of location, ensuring content consistency and alignment with project goals. Robust review processes allow for thorough scrutiny of content before publication. This way, you identify errors, ensure compliance with guidelines and maintain a consistent voice and brand standard.
CMS features that support these activities include:
- Tracking changes
- Approval workflows
GitHub integration is especially useful for version control and collaborative development of themes and plugins. Webflow’s GitHub integration isn’t as comprehensive as WordPress’s. While code export to GitHub is possible, the process isn’t as integrated, posing potential challenges for teams that heavily use GitHub. Sanity’s GitHub integration is robust, fitting well into developer-centric workflows.
Here’s an overview of Webflow vs WordPress vs Sanity when it comes to user collaboration.
|Approach to collaboration
|Limited capabilities for structured review and approval processes
|Lack of a comprehensive system for managing review requests like GitHub's Pull Requests
|Challenging for teams requiring formal review processes, especially in larger or more complex projects
|Support to collaborative workflows through its compatibility with various tools and plugins
|GitHub's Pull Request feature enables team members to review and discuss changes before merging, ensuring updates align with quality standards and project goals
|Versatile in collaboration, ideal for teams that need thorough review process
|Use of Pull Requests for reviewing and approving changes, which is valuable for content closely linked to development (e.g., custom web apps)
|Ideal for teams with a significant developer role in content management, but it might present a learning curve for less technical users
5. Styling and formatting capabilities
Styling and formatting capabilities in a CMS allow users to define and enforce specific design elements, ensuring that all content aligns with brand guidelines.
Designer-centric with style locking in Webflow
Webflow simplifies the process of implementing and securing styles. It allows detailed styling adjustments and guarantees consistent application site-wide.
Its strength lies in the capacity to lock styles at different levels, from global to individual elements. This feature ensures design preferences are maintained across all content. However, it can make it difficult to change styles.
Theme and customization flexibility with WordPress
With a variety of themes and customization options, WordPress makes it easy to integrate and maintain consistent styling across a website. Through custom CSS and child themes, users ensure a uniform look, unaffected by main theme updates. Another option is to use plugins for further control over specific elements and layouts, an essential feature for larger organizations concerned with brand consistency.
Here’s what theme customization looks like on WordPress:
Developer-focused with custom styling in Sanity
Sanity integrates existing styles but requires developer involvement for implementation and maintenance. This immense freedom in design requires technical expertise. Locking in styles is feasible through custom coding, providing significant potential but sacrificing ease of use for those with limited development skills.
CMS style locking takeaway
- Webflow suits designers with its visual interface and comprehensive style locking, although it demands more active management.
- WordPress strikes a balance with user-friendly themes and advanced customization through the use of plugins for style consistency. It’s ideal for those seeking simplicity alongside control.
- Sanity provides maximum flexibility for those with development resources, allowing complete creative freedom but being less accessible for non-technical users.
6. Markdown support
Markdown is a lightweight markup language that allows users to write content using a plain text format with simple syntax. It is user-friendly and easy to learn, making it accessible to users who may not have extensive technical knowledge. This simplicity enhances the content creation process, allowing users to focus on the message rather than dealing with complex formatting.
Plugin-enabled Markdown on WordPress
WordPress offers Markdown support through plugins like WP Githuber MD. While not native, these plugins allow users, especially developers and technical writers, to write blog posts in Markdown.
Limited markdown on Webflow
Webflow lacks native Markdown support, focusing instead on WYSIWYG editing, which suits designers and those less acquainted with Markdown. This may be a limitation for teams reliant on Markdown.
Strong Markdown support on Sanity
Sanity excels with native Markdown support, making it a prime choice for developers and technical content creators. Its content editor allows for smooth Markdown writing and editing.
7. CMS plugin integration
By integrating with third-party plugins, CMS can add specialized features like interactive maps or pricing calculators efficiently. Here’s how Sanity, Webflow and WordPress handle plugin integrations.
- Sanity doesn’t have a traditional plugin ecosystem like WordPress but offers significant flexibility through its API-first design. This allows for highly customized integrations tailored to specific needs. However, this typically requires developer involvement, making it less accessible for teams lacking strong technical resources.
- Webflow offers a selection of integrations, though not as extensive as WordPress’s. These integrations mainly focus on visual and design elements, aligning with Webflow’s emphasis on design. For more complex features like interactive maps or custom calculators, Webflow might necessitate custom coding or third-party tools, requiring more technical expertise than WordPress.
- WordPress is known for its vast array of plugins, offering remarkable versatility. It provides plugins for nearly any feature imaginable, from interactive maps to advanced pricing calculators. This vast selection is advantageous for those looking to add complex functionalities without extensive coding.
☝️Interested in WordPress? Discover the 12 best WordPress plugins for enterprises.
Third-party plugin integration takeaway
|Approach to plugin integrations
|Customizable but developer-intensive integrations
|Technically skilled teams with specific integration requirements
|Limited but specialized integrations
|Design-centric teams with some technical capabilities
|Extensive plugin ecosystem
|Teams seeking ease of use and extensive customization
Which CMS is best for SEO?
You need a solid enterprise SEO program to help improve your website’s visibility and traffic. A good CMS directly influences how easily search engines can crawl, index and rank your content.
A SEO-friendly content management system:
- Enables the creation of search engine-friendly URLs, which contribute to a better user experience and improve the chances of search engines understanding the content relevance.
- Provides options to optimize meta titles and descriptions, enhancing click-through rates in search engine results.
- Allows easy management of content, making it simpler to create, edit and organize web pages. Properly formatted and structured content is more likely to be understood by search engines, positively impacting rankings.
- Has built-in sitemap functionality, so search engines can efficiently crawl and index all relevant pages.
- Supports responsive design or mobile optimization, ensuring that the website performs well on various devices, contributing to improved SEO.
- Facilitate optimization for page speed, helping to enhance user experience and meet the performance criteria set by search engines.
Now let’s make a WordPress vs Sanity vs Webflow comparison in terms of SEO features.
WordPress: Comprehensive SEO with plugins
WordPress is known for its robust SEO capabilities, which are further enhanced by plugins. A standout plugin is Yoast SEO, which offers features like keyword optimization, readability checks and technical SEO improvements such as canonical URLs and meta tags.
These tools help search engines effectively crawl and index WordPress sites. Additionally, WordPress facilitates SEO-friendly content creation and structuring, with features like alt tags for images, custom URL structures and organized content categorization.
Sanity: Developer-oriented SEO flexibility
As a headless CMS, Sanity takes a unique approach to SEO. It lacks built-in SEO tools but allows developers to implement custom SEO tactics. Great flexibility requires more technical know-how, though. Developers can manage SEO aspects (e.g., meta tags, structured data and alt text for images) through the backend — a potentially challenging approach for less technical users.
Webflow: Built-in SEO tools
Webflow brings integrated SEO tools, enabling users to manage key SEO elements directly within the platform, including:
- Editing meta titles and descriptions
- Customizing URLs
- Setting 301 redirects
- Automatically generating sitemaps
While it offers fewer third-party SEO plugins compared to WordPress, its built-in tools are straightforward and cover the basics for web search optimization, appealing to those who prefer an all-in-one solution.
Best CMS for SEO: Key takeaways
Each CMS offers distinct SEO advantages:
- WordPress excels with a wide range of SEO plugins, making it the best choice for users seeking detailed control over their SEO strategy.
- Webflow has user-friendly, integrated SEO tools — an ideal approach for those wanting a simple, plugin-free SEO approach.
- Sanity offers more flexibility — suited for developers or teams with the technical ability to implement custom SEO initiatives.
Choosing the best content management system is a matter of fit and purpose
When choosing the ideal content management system, take into account your specific project needs, technical skills and long-term digital goals.
- If you want a versatile platform, great for a wide range of users, from beginners to experts, choose WordPress. It’s user-friendly, scalable and has a vast plugin ecosystem and community support.
- If you value design and simplicity, Webflow is a great pick. It offers intuitive visual editing, making it perfect for designers and small to medium businesses looking to create unique, responsive websites without extensive coding.
- If you need high customization, complex integrations and developer-focused content management, select Sanity. It allows for great flexibility and control but requires technical knowledge.
Still undecided between Webflow vs WordPress vs Sanity? Let’s help you navigate the selection process. Our web development team is here to offer insights, answer questions and assist you in weighing the pros and costs of each platform. Let’s work together to ensure that your selection aligns perfectly with your unique requirements, internal team’s technical expertise and business goals.
Jason Safavi is an experienced technologist with a passion for innovative software development. With over 18 years of experience in the field, he has established himself as an expert in advanced website builds and machine learning. As our company's Chief Technology Officer, Jason leads the development of cutting-edge software solutions that help drive business growth and improve our clients' experiences. He has an exceptional ability to identify new and emerging technologies and adapt them to meet our clients' evolving needs. Jason is a strong advocate of continuous learning and encourages his team to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in software development. He is always exploring new web and software technologies, experimenting with new programming languages, and testing new tools and frameworks to see how they can be used to improve our products and services. Aside from his passion for technology, Jason is also an avid gamer. He enjoys playing games on his PS5, and we often joke about him constantly losing in Mortal Kombat matches.