It does not matter if you are launching a website or making a professional website for your business. It is just by choosing what website building tool that meets your needs. In this blog, we are looking at Webflow and Editor X, the most popular website builders on the market at present. Based on reviews of experts and our own experience using both platforms, we have enough data to compare these top-notch website builders.
Editor X is essentially a subsidiary of Wix and they inherit a lot of similarity and are within the same ecosystem. We will be using the name Wix and Editor X quite often for clarification.
Each platform has their own advantages and disadvantages, and we want to give you the most neutral review as possible so it is fair for both platforms. Here is the outline of what we will be covering in this article:
- Design Capabilities (Styling)
- Development Capabilities (Custom Code, Animation)
- Hosting Plans
- App Market
What is Editor X?
It is an advanced web creation platform for designers and agencies, which was recently released by Wix in April 2020. With a friendly user interface and the new responsive design capability, Editor X has persuaded the most difficult users to talk and try their advanced drag and drop web design platform.
Editor X is a sophisticated website builder platform that enables design control completely and ability to build websites with any dimensions screen sizes. It also allows users to integrate with business tools like booking systems, marketing resources and e-commerce. Users can easily write a custom code for a site with a built-in IDE to create custom features for their websites.
With Editor X, you can create a website whenever you want. Providing over 900+ ready-to-use websites include responsive design. It’s suited to small businesses with basic needs and want a platform that they can edit easily. By offering advanced breakpoints, Editor X makes it easy to customize the design for different screen sizes.
What is Webflow?
Editor X and Webflow Full Comparison
1. Design Capabilities
The drag and drop website design feature brought a lot of attention to the market, but it is even better with Editor X where you are now able to approach responsive design with all the latest technology such as CSS Grid and Flexbox. We love the drag and drop editor for how they allow you to display and control over the positioning of your website elements. Moreover, Wix developers are continually committing easy-to-use websites and adding more new features for users.
You can add up to six breakpoints, and your design will affect the other in a cascading style from higher to lower breakpoints. If you accidently design in the lower breakpoint, you can always choose to copy the elements to one or all other breakpoints effectively.
Despite the different user interface and the new capability, Editor X still inherits many design features from Wix like code abstraction and drag and drop features. With Wix's approach, its users do not have access to the DOM and cannot reuse any styling classes (CSS). This means, for every new element, you will need to style your element again. Editor X introduced a feature called Design Library where you can save your design and reuse it elsewhere, but you still do not have the full flexibility to change the styling and effectively affect other elements.
*You do not have access to the Z-index in Editor X. Editor X makes their interface similar to a design tool like Photoshop where you (kind of) edit the Z-index by moving the layer up and down.
Webflow also has responsive design, with up to six breakpoints. The main breakpoint (computer with a star) will cascade your design to both higher and lower. If you accidently design on these breakpoints, you will have to go back to the main breakpoint and redesign it from there.
*You cannot delete the breakpoint once it has been added in Webflow.
You have full control of Webflow DOM so you can style them with CSS and reuse the classes. With CSS, you can make changes to your site faster.
2. Development Capabilities
You heard it right! In Editor X, there is also a place especially for newbies or experts of coding to play around using Wix's Velo (formerly known as Wix Corvid). It adds an “open development, serverless platform,” built on Node.js, to your Wix sites.
“Velo is an open development platform that accelerates the way you build web applications. Work in Wix's visual builder, add custom functionality and interactions using Velo's APIs, use your own tools, and enjoy serverless coding in both the front-end and backend, all in an open, extendable platform.”
With an impressive code-free CMS, users do not have to put their mind on any coding knowledge to configure the back-end content of a website. However, for more experienced users, you can always utilize Wix Velo to break the limitations of your website and bring in some nice custom design/animations.
As much as we love Editor X, we have to say that we prefer to develop our website and our client's websites on Webflow. This is one feature that Webflow has won us over all other platforms. Here's why:
With access to the site structure (visually), you can add any custom functionality to the site. Better than that, you also get to use public resources such as CodePen, CSS Tricks, W3School, Github, and much more.
You could develop a highly professional website natively within Webflow, but having some knowledge of coding in your toolbox would create that Wow effect easily.
3. Hosting Plans
It is not a surprise that Wix is the most popular website builder in the market, not only for a reasonable price, but also for its robust scalability. Both Editor X and Webflow provide different web hosting plans that are suitable for a single user, small businesses, or even enterprise businesses.
Domain Hosting: When you upgrade a premium plan with Editor X, you get a free domain for a year. You can always point your domain from third party domain providers such as Godaddy, Namecheap, or Hostinger to Editor X or you can transfer your domain and get it hosted directly on Wix's server. In addition, you get a free SSL certificate regardless of where you host your domain as long as you are in the Wix ecosystem.
Web Hosting: You can publish a free website in Editor X under Editor X staging domain (eg: socialectric.editorx.io). Similar to their domain hosting service, Wix also offers website hosting directly on their cloud servers powered by Amazon Elastic Cloud Computing and Google Cloud.
Editor X Premium Plan starts at $17/mo for an annual plan ($204/year)
*There are on other official documents stating where specifically Editor X servers are, but Editor X is a subsidiary of Wix and we assume they also use the same cloud technology for the sake of keeping everything easy to manage within one ecosystem.
Like Editor X, Webflow is all in for scalability, but their premium plans are slightly different from Editor X. You get to choose whether you need the CMS feature or not. This effectively reduces the cost of the premium plan and is more suitable with users who do not need a CMS system. Here's the full Webflow pricing.
Domain Hosting: Webflow does not offer domain hosting like Editor X. You will need to host your domain with the third party domain provider and point it back to Webflow.
Web Hosting: Webflow also offers two free projects hosted under Webflow staging domain (eg: socialectric.webflow.io) and you can connect to your own custom domain when you are ready. Super-fast is a great term when talking about Webflow speed sites. Webflow processes over 4.1 billion page views per month, three times faster than CNN and BBC combined thanks to the cloud technology powered by Amazon Web Service and Fastly. It rolls out the importance of Webflow, and customers can trust with and successfully it delivers excellent performance.
Webflow Premium Plan starts at $12/mo ($144/year) with no CMS and $16/mo ($192/year) with CMS system.
Building a website is all about working together as a team. Editor X understands this and you can assign different roles for contributors to your site such as admin, website manager, website designer, etc.
If you are an agency or a big team of web designers, you can also sign up to the Wix Partner Program and build websites for other people. Wix and Editor X use a Partner Dashboard, where you can assign roles to your team on a business scale. You can choose who is in charge of the Billing, Blog, or assign custom roles however you see fit.
Editor X has released the Concurrent Editing to Wix Partners, where multiple creators can work on the same Editor X site at the same time for the ultimate collaborative design process. You can keep an eye out on new Editor X updates here.
Unlike Editor X, you have to purchase a separate Team Plan if you want to collaborate with someone. The Team Plan costs $35/person on an annual plan. This does not mean that you can both be in the Designer at the same time.
*Designer is the Webflow design interface where you can add, move, or delete design elements. Webflow also has an Editor besides the Designer, we will go over it in the next point.
In Editor X, you only have the Editor where you make the changes to the design and the content on the site. While Editor X has the ability to add unlimited contributors to a site, we think it is not the best approach to give non-experienced contributors access to the Editor (such as copywriter, site manager, etc). With responsive design, one mistake on one breakpoint will cascade to another breakpoint as it will break your site design.
In your Webflow project dashboard, you will see two options to enter your website editor. One is the Designer, and the other is the Editor. This prevents unwanted changes that can potentially break your design.
The Editor lets you create and manage site content intuitively without breaking the site design. You can add up to 3 editors on the CMS plan.
You can easily transfer your website to a new owner. This feature is highly desirable by freelancers and agencies as you can design and develop the site on your end, get paid, and transfer the site to the clients.
With Webflow, you are required to have an Account Plan to be able to transfer the site to your clients. The Lite Account Plan currently costs $192/year.
*Account Plan lets you host more projects on your account, with the ability to export codes and transfer websites to other accounts. Site Plan is the hosting plan that we mentioned above, it is used to host your website on Webflow's servers. Team Plan is a separate plan to add additional people to the Designer.
7. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Editor X uses Wix SEO Wiz to help its users with SEO. You will be prompted with a series of questions and instructions and you only have to follow them. Editor X will let you know whether you have added the metadata, social shareimage, keywords, and more.
On the Editor, you have the option to choose the title tag for your headings (H1 to H6). You also have the ability to add alt tags to images, 301 redirects, etc and even advanced technical SEO like Schema onto your page.
This is a draw between Editor X and Webflow. Both are capable of doing quite advanced SEO, and we can assure you that your website will rank in no time.
If you are not sure why and how you should approach SEO, you can check out our latest article on SEO for Small Business Website here
8. App Market
Your Editor X website can be enhanced with many integrated business solutions like marketing tools, e-commerce, booking system, paid plans and more, which means you do not have to go with third party plugins, and enjoy integrated business solutions optimized for speed and user experience. The Wix ecosystem also comes with a great third party app market. If the built-in features are not enough, you can always go to the Wix App Market to find what you are looking for. However, Editor X is still in Beta, so most of the Wix Apps are not compatible with Editor X sites yet.
Webflow has many integrations with detailed instructions on how to install them, but it is not as easy as Editor X and you do need to know a little bit of coding to add the code to the site. To date, Webflow still does not have a built-in membership area or booking system like Editor X.
However, they can still be done with the help of third party applications. If you need a membership area, you will have to integrate Memberstack/Outseta to your site. For a more advanced booking system, you may want to look at Foxy.io or Calendly. With Webflow, Zapier will be your best friend as it acts as the bridge to integrate your website to most of the applications on the market.
Editor X comes with fully branded, robust online stores with multiple payment solutions, quick checkout, competitive shipping rates and custom tax groups. Editor X also allows you to monetize your blog with Google Adsense, sell digital products, accept booking and payment, sell subscriptions, events and more.
Webflow eCommerce let you sell physical and digital products, custom checkout flow, delivery options, streamline shipping process, online payments (powered by Stripe, Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal).
In the end, both Editor X and Webflow are equal in this round. However, in our experience, when it comes to eCommerce, we tend to use additional third party apps or just use Shopify. Shopify is the king in eCommerce for its robust capabilities (although design in Shopify can get a little frustrating).
This is why we love these platforms as they have huge support from the community, Community X from Editor X, and Webflow Community on Webflow. The community exists because there are people like you, willing to share information they know to help others. Socialectric is also part of the web design community, so we created an online resource to help you build your own website.
In addition, there are ready-made resources from the platform itself such as Academy X for Editor X and Webflow University for Webflow. They are free and whichever platform you decide to go with, make sure you watch all of those videos to grasp the capability of each platform.
Pro tip: If you have a question, simply type in your problem and add the platform at the end, you will be amazed by how much information there is around. For example,
"How to build a custom product page in Editor X."
*Editor X CMS is the same as Wix, hence, the same approach. We have made a Case Study on how to build a custom product page with one of our clients.
Most people would compare Wix and Webflow as Canva vs. Photoshop. Wix is always known as the DIY web development platform and is suitable to small business owners and designers due to its drag and drop feature. This is why we think Wix is taking the company in a different direction to differentiate themselves from DIY and compete with other website building platforms by introducing Editor X as a completely separate company.
Editor X is still in its infancy and it is very hard to say how good it will become. Editor X inherits a lot of ready-made features from the Wix ecosystem and that is one of the biggest advantages that Editor X has over Webflow. Webflow, however, leans toward semantic web development with more technical capabilities and it is a totally different target market compared to Wix and Editor X.
These platforms are made for non technical users so you can build a website for yourself. However, if you have a decent budget, we highly recommend that you should hire professionals to design and build your websites. It may look simple as drag and drop, but we have worked with many clients who sought us out for help with their websites.
Socialectric is a web design agency based in Saigon, Vietnam. We design and build custom websites that will change the way your business works. With our skills and your ideas, we will make a perfect team and bring your design to reality.
Back on Editor X vs. Webflow, if we were asked to choose the capability between the two, we would look at your business goal and pick out a more suitable platform. While we do think Webflow is like Superman with superior power in terms of design and development customization, Editor X could be Batman with a strategic approach and continual improvement.