Here are some of my recommendations.
First of all WordPress itself will solve most of the static and dynamic building features compared to Webflow. That’s a big plus. Even without plugins with just one proper good block theme, you can build almost any type of layout you need.
Short list for good Block Themes;
There are alot of themes but this 3 comes to my mind for modern features and supports block editor fully.
You can build any design and layout with this themes but you need one or two plugin if you need some animations or features.
Block Editor Plugins
Here are some of the free and best Block Editor Plugins that I can recommend;
With this themes and plugins you can create any layout you or your client needs.
If you need some tutorials start from here : https://learn.wordpress.org/ if not enough continue with udemy courses. But usualy wp.org and youtube tutorials enough 😉
WordPress has the best community out there.
If you need advanced animations and very advanced layout building you need a builder or other plugins and may need to invest some money.
Block editor is only one way to build layouts and designs with WP. It is the default way of doing things. Block Editor is the default core editor. That is why it is the most stable, future proof and strong way to build layouts. If it is enough for you you should stick with Block Editor.
But lets say you want to build more advanced stuff. Advanced layouts, animations, and features.
Best Builders (other than Block Editor)
I have used both of these builders and more. It is light and day clear to me these two builder is the best at the moment.
Bricks Builder is more optimized and fast. It has a great lighthouse score out of the box. Elementor needs work. They have started making their rendering and dom better for the last 1 year but they are still behind.
Layout Building Elementor and Bricks
Both of the builders can build any type of layout.
Both of them have great widgets out of the box.
Both of them default 3 breakpoints for responsive.
Both of them support flexbox. Bricks probably supports better than Elementor. But they are close.
Nesting and Class system is better in Bricks but Elementor just started adding them and in Beta. Elementor catching up on this one.
Honestly as a layout perspective both of them are decent. They both have some advantages over each other. But those details would take me a day to cover up too many to write. I just want to give fundamental knowledge for people who are coming from webflow and no need to know that much in detail yet…
You can try elementor free features with free plugin.
For Bricks you can try it with their ready to use system Try.Bricks.
Here comes the juicy part.
Both of them have good entrance/viewport basic animations.
Elementor has a basic-level scroll animation. But very basic and limited.
It is clear if you need advance animations you need helper plugins.
There is 2 amazing plugins for advance animations.
Let’s start with motion.page I use it all the time. It has amazing aniamtion features that you will see in webflow. You can select any type of dom and any way you like. Almost all gsap library is supported and it has more animations libraries come with it.
motion.page can work with any type of theme, builder and plugin. Any page and its doms in WordPress can be animated with motion.page.
What I mean is doesnt matter what builder you use motion.page can work with all of them.
Animations and Layout: BricksForge
BricksForge is made for Bricks and it integrates itself to Bricks deeply.
It doesn’t just make advanced animations but it brings advanced layouts and widgets.
Because it has layout widgets and it has very long list of features.
Forge clearly has more features than motion.page but it only works with bricks. I think this is the only disadvantage of it.
All of this combinations will give you great long term solutions.
Elementor+motion.page (no lifetime license)
Bricks+motion.page (semi lifetime)
Bricks+BricksForge (lifetime licenses possible)
Note: you can buy bricks+forge combination lifetime but you cant buy motion.page and elementor lifetime 🙂
I think this will be a very important decision for some of you. If you want to save money long term it is no brainer get the bricks+forge together lifetime and build unlimited websites forever 🙂
What do I use?
I use Elementor + motion.page
But it should be clear that I don’t use anything else. I code my widgets or shortcodes when needed. I code a lot of PHP, JS, or CSS when I need it. Our agency team have some idea how to use Elementor and that comes in handy when I finish the layout I give the login to the team and they can somewhat finish the content filling on their own. ıf this wasnt the case I probably would switch to bricks long ago.
We already have bricks license too btw. I am just not using it as much as I want to 🙂
What should you use?
If I didn’t know anything like coding and didn’t have any team with me. I would pick the Bricks Builder + BricksForge path.
Bricks have a better community. Both of these plugins listen to you. Elementor become too big to fail and they show it. They usually don’t listen, listens late or listen to unimportant stuff first. When you become too big you lose your perspective.
This is not the case for BricksBuilder and BricksForge.
Bricks have a modern system. Elementor trying to catch up to the Bricks for the last 1 year but they are still behind and because they are rushing features they create lots of bugs and optimization problems in the editor. trust me I know I wrote some bug reports on github for this.
Bricks has supreme optimization and seo. There is no builder out there it gives out of the box 100 score in lighthouse only BricksBuilder does this.
It has advance class system, templating system, custom code system and more…
Honestly choice will depend on your situation and position. Test it, research it, check the prices, wait for black friday 😉 and decide for yourself 🙂