ClickFunnels vs WordPress – Which is Best to Build Advanced Funnels in 2021?


So which is best for establishing a solid online presence – ClickFunnels or WordPress?

ClickFunnels was developed to primarily focus on sales funnels and landing pages. It helps newbies, pros, and non-tech savvy people create high-converting sales funnels.

Using the pre-designed templates makes it easier to build funnels from scratch. If used correctly, it results in enhanced lead generation and conversion.

WordPress, on the other hand, is more focused on website creation and blogging. It’s the most popular website builder powering over 39% of websites around the world.

ClickFunnels as a SaaS application can be quite rigid when it comes to customization and implementing your own features. But with WordPress, you have a lot of plugins that operate together to give rise to a more creative workflow.

Features ClickFunnels WordPress
Pricing $97/mo Integrating WordPress with funnels and landing
page plugins cost you approximately
between $250 – $800
Funnel building Creating high-converting sales funnels is a breeze with ClickFunnels. WordPress wasn’t developed as a funnel builder but as a website builder. But you can integrate with other plugins like Cartflows to create funnels that convert.
Shopping cart ClickFunnels comes with an in-built shopping cart feature WordPress doesn’t have an inbuilt shopping cart feature. You can use external tools like ThriveCart or SamCart to be just fine.
Memberships ClickFunnels has a built-in membership area to sell your products. With WordPress, you have to install WordPress Membership plugins like LearnDash and MemberPress
Email marketing With the ClickFunnels Platinum package, you get access to the Follow-up funnels. ClickFunnels has an email autoresponder that allows you to send email broadcasts to your mailing list. WordPress doesn’t have email marketing capabilities. So need to use the native WordPress plugins like MailPoet, Mailster, or SendinBlue.

However, it’s not as easy to create sales funnels with WordPress as it is with ClickFunnels.

This comparison of ClickFunnels vs. WordPress is almost like comparing apples to mangoes as the two platforms were built for different purposes. For it to be apple vs apple, we need to really supercharge WordPress with plugins.

But my goal is to help you understand and see what each platform does for your business so you can make an informed decision.

Without further ado, let’s dive in.

Pros and cons of building funnels on these platforms.

ClickFunnels vs WordPress: Pros and cons

ClickFunnels pros

  • It helps you create high-converting sales funnels that increase your digital or physical product sales. Their sales funnel will generate leads and conversion rates that are off the charts.
  • They provide a wide range of highly customized sales funnels templates that are easy to use. You don’t have to be a tech genius to use the templates thanks to the drag-and-drop editor.
  • When it comes to eCommerce stores, you can promote your products and sell them with ease. Receiving payments is not a headache and they have an inbuilt shopping cart feature for your funnels and web pages.
  • You can A/B test your sales funnels and landing pages optimizing them for the best results. As a result, you are assured of getting your ROI.
  • It has website hosting capabilities. You won’t look for third parties to host your site. All you need to do is add your domain to ClickFunnels.
  • They have an extensive knowledge base of tutorials, webinars, guides, detailing the ins and outs of ClickFunnels. You are also assured of an excellent support system and a vibrant community of funnel hackers.

ClickFunnels cons

  • Their membership site has to be improved. It has issues with registration, video hosting, audio support, member engagement options, poor mobile optimization, and so many lacking features.
  • The integration options are limited to email service providers. They should add more.
  • ClickFunnels is pricey.

WordPress pros

  • It comes with a forever-free plan and gives you total control over your pages. You have control over where your page data and files are located. They give you the freedom to choose your web hosting company.
  • WordPress has a huge collection of plugins, extensions, and add-ons. As a result, you can practically create anything you want. From simple to advanced sales pages and websites.
  • You get to create pages that follow SEO best practices. This way you are in a better position to gain organic traffic and rank high on search engines.
  • It comes with numerous website designs and templates for you to choose from. All of them with different customization options allowing you to create unique web pages.
  • For bloggers, it provides a friendly platform with numerous good-looking themes for our web pages.
  • Thanks to its popularity, they have amassed thousands of integrations. From ESPs to CRM tools, SEO tools, lead generation software, payment gateways, and so many others.

WordPress cons

ClickFunnels vs WordPress: Features compared

Funnel and page building

When it comes to funnels and page building, you’re getting a golden ticket with ClickFunnels. It’s the bread and butter for funnel builders. Creating an online marketing funnel will take you time and effort if you’re not an experienced developer or marketer.

ClickFunnels saves you from this headache.

At a glance, you might find the multiple types of funnels a bit overwhelming. I did too. What the heck is a bridge, hero, or opt-in funnel? And when should I use either?

Luckily, they have an explainer video that sorts you out the moment you click on the available options. Even when you’re not a pro with marketing lingo, the clips will guide you to knowing what type of funnel you need for your business.

ClickFunnels funnel templates

In not more than 10 minutes, you’ll have a high-converting sales funnel. The drag-and-drop editor is super responsive making it easy to create customized funnels.

However, they can make the editor more intuitive for better navigation. Other than that, the UX is excellent as you’ve got 18+ widgets and elements to create personalized landing and sales pages.

All you have to do is drag and drop the elements you need on your page, customize them, and voila! You can add countdown timers, progress bars, buttons, surveys, SMS sign-ups, and many other elements that help your pages stand out from the pack.

ClickFunnels drag and drop builder

The process is a cakewalk and the in-built funnel templates make it easier. Honestly, I loved the plug-and-play as the only thing required of me was to tweak everything to align with my needs.

In addition, it works like magic when it comes to lead generation. You can create pop-ups to collect your visitors’ details or grab their attention as they leave your page.

You’re able to create exit-intent pop-ups, time-based, scroll-based, and even content-based pop-ups. And you’ll also get the opportunity to split test them and see how effective they are. You can test the headlines, imagery, CTA, content, and CTA copy.

ClickFunnels popups are pretty powerful mediums to save your sales.

ClickFunnels funnel templates

And the best thing, ClickFunnels gives you simple funnels with a touch of finesse. You get to increase your conversions by adding upsell and downsell features that give your customers more product options to consider.

I can’t forget their A/B testing feature that helps you know what sales funnels or landing pages appeal to your audience most.

You get to test different aspects of your pages including the content, subject, images and pick the best performing version which ultimately increases your ROI.

ClickFunnels sales funnel/ landing page builder has in-built analytics that helps you track the performance of your pages. It gives you metrics like page views, conversions, and user behavior so you can optimize your pages for the best results.

ClickFunnels reporting and analytics

Enough about ClickFunnels.

Over to WordPress.

Like I said before, WordPress wasn’t developed as a funnel builder but as a website builder. However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t create funnels using WordPress. It’s just not as seamless as in ClickFunnels but it’s possible.

One of the things I love most about WordPress is the availability of thousands of plugins and tools for website page building. From your homepage, service page, about us, blogs, it gives you thousands of themes to help you stand out.

My top funnel and page builder options for WordPress are Gutenberg (WordPress default block editor), Elementor, and Thrive Architect.

Gutenberg

If you don’t want something complex, you can use Gutenberg. The native WordPress block editor that uses blocks to add and arrange content on your pages. It’s very easy to add and remove elements and customize them without using code.

But it’s not a match for some powerful WordPress page builder plugins like Divi, Elementor, Beaver Builder, or Visual Composer.

On the bright side, I like that there are powerful Gutenberg plugins that can make life a bit more tasty and give your pages more design flexibility with a lot of modules.

Elementor

If you want a powerful funnel and page builder, use Elementor(review). It is one of the best drag-and-drop builders available in the market today. And they have been constantly adding aces up their sleeves no wonder the rapid growth rate.

The interface is great and you don’t have to make numerous clicks to find various elements thanks to the Elementor Finder.

Adding columns and layout options is a piece of cake with Elementor. It makes it easy to edit and style your pages giving you control over how every element looks.

You can tweak every typography element including font, spacing, height, etc. to ensure it matches your brand thanks to the global design options available.

elementor page builder 1

We can’t talk of a page builder without templates, right? Elementor has a bunch of pre-designed templates to make work easier.

They are professional, clean, and very easy to customize. And for those like me who want to DIY landing pages from scratch, well, we can save them and use them later.

Elementor is an open-source page builder. I know… it’s the first of its kind. The chain breaker. Mother of dragons… just kidding. But Game of Thrones fans will get me.

Why is this important?

Because anyone can create a widget, block, or template for pages built with Elementor. And you can get these resources free of charge, at a fee, or on the WordPress massive plugin market.

I can’t forget their popup builder. It’s a real game-changer. You can create versatile slide-in, hello bars, fly-in, bottom bars, classic, and full-screen popups. They can all be set to trigger in multiple ways from different conditions to advanced rules.

Plus they have numerous template options for pop-ups if you don’t want to create one from scratch. But, this feature comes with the pro version.

Let’s not forget the visual form builder that also comes with the pro plan.

Basically, Elementor is one of the best page builders today. I can say they give other popular builders like Beaver Builder a run for their money.

Thrive Architect

It’s another powerful WordPress page builder plugin similar to Elementor but it comes with a suite of plugins for advanced marketing.

Thrive Architect will enable you to create any type of landing page and funnel. The landing page editor ensures you have total control over the design of your pages.

It also comes with a huge library of landing page templates for any marketing purpose you might have in mind. I’ve used it for affiliate marketing bonus pages and it doesn’t disappoint.

Thrive Architect (review) integrates with Thrive Themes to give you the theme-building aspect.

If you need to create pop-ups for lead gen campaigns, Thrive Leads(review) will deliver. You can create slide-ins, full-screen pop-ups, lightboxes, inline forms, etc.

It was the pioneer platform for form split-testing enabling you to create highly optimized forms. And to date, they still deliver.

And the best thing is that you can use Thrive Optimize their A/B testing feature that allows you to test unlimited page aspects to optimize your conversion goals. You can run limitless split tests at a go.

Thrive Architect templates

With any of these page-building solutions, I highly recommend you make use of the Astra theme(review). They have a really good plugin called “Astra Starter Sites” that helps you import entire pre-built sites with the click of a button.

You can also integrate it with Elementor, Brizy(review), Gutenberg, or Beaver Builder if you want. Plus, it comes with a boatload of in-built demo sites and retina-ready themes for multiple niches.

Winner: ClickFunnels comes on top. If you’re looking to create high-converting funnels and landing pages, ClickFunnels will get you straight to the gold. However, if all you want is to create web pages from scratch, or have more creative workflows, WordPress does offer more flexibility.

Payment gateways

If you’re running an online store, you’ll need a payment gateway to make money.

With ClickFunnels, the most popular payment gateway is Stripe. But, they let you use third-party tools to increase your payment gateways.

The number of integrations is determined by your pricing plan. With basic, you get up to three integrations, ClickFunnels platinum gives you nine, and the Two Comma Club X gives you 27.

ClickFunnels Payment gateways

ClickFunnels also comes with an in-built shopping cart feature ensuring people purchase products safely in your store. They can add products to their shopping cart and just before checkout you give them ClickFunnels OTO (one-time offer).

This can be in the form of upsells or downsells giving you an opportunity to increase your sales.

Over to WordPress.

The premium WordPress package allows you to make money.

If you want basic functionality, PayPal and Stripe payment processors are available. But for full-blown online store functionality, you need to use plugins like Woocommerce.

WordPress integrations

It takes a minute or so to add the storefront to your WordPress dashboard. Then get it running by adding products, payment methods, shipping, taxes, and customizations.

That’s all you need to have an online storefront with coupon codes, promotions, buyer reviews, inventory tracking, etc.

WordPress doesn’t come with an inbuilt shopping cart feature so you have to use third-party tools. I have found ThriveCart or SamCart to be just fine.

You can also use Cartflows which is a sales funnel builder for WordPress sites. It comes with ready-made templates for various sales funnel types. And very much like ClickFunnels in that aspect, it will provide one-click upsells, downsells, and order bumps.

It also allows email provider integration and sends abandoned cart emails whenever anyone doesn’t complete the checkout process. As a result, you get to increase your conversions and ultimately sales. It’s a much better plugin than WooCommerce.

Winner: Tie. The main goal of ClickFunnels is to help you make money by increasing conversions and sales. They’ve made it easy to incorporate everything you need to do on the platform. WordPress needs you to integrate with third-party tools but they are pretty powerful tools so it shouldn’t be much hassle.

Memberships and courses

Membership sites have become a great way to make money online. Users have to pay so as to access premium content, a community, online courses, or features.

To successfully run memberships, you’ll require a platform that helps you manage payments, users, membership levels, etc.

Luckily, both ClickFunnels and WordPress support this.

ClickFunnels has a built-in membership area that allows you to monetize your knowledge, skills, and courses. However, I have to say it’s pretty much basic. You have to integrate the payment page and registration form.

ClickFunnels has a built-in membership area

Basically, it makes so many things harder than they should be. From hosting a video to customization of the membership site, poor mobile experience, no audio support, can’t track user progress, lacks basic features like certificates, quizzes, and user discussions. Do I need to go on?

I know ClickFunnels tries to be a jack of all trade but running a membership site isn’t one of the perks.

Onto WordPress.

One thing I have learned with membership sites, choosing the wrong platform can damage your overall performance. With WordPress, you have to install a WordPress Membership plugin to have a seamless experience.

There are so many Membership plugins but I’ll only recommend the two I have used. MemberPress and LearnDash (review).

Memberpress  dashboard

MemberPress is one of the most powerful and easy-to-use membership plugins on WordPress. The setup is a walk in the park. It gives you full access to control over your site. You get restricted access to anything including tags, files, pages, blog posts, and so much more.

I love the content dripping feature that lets you release restricted content to users after a certain period. This feature comes in handy when selling online courses.

Additionally, it integrates with email marketing integrations like Mailchimp, Aweber, and GetResponse.

For those who love podcasts, it integrates with BluBrry so you can have audio content. Unlike ClickFunnels, it comes with built-in payment gateways supporting PayPal and Stripe.

Over to LearnDash.

LearnDash interface

If you want to sell online courses, LearnDash is the go-to WordPress LMS plugin. Like MemberPress, it also provides easy setup and content restriction and dripping. You’ll have a seamless experience selling courses and your users will also have a great user experience.

LearnDash in-built community feature

It also comes with an in-built community feature to increase member engagement. Unlike ClickFunnels, you can create quizzes, use badges, give certificates, create forums, and so much more.

You can also use the BuddyBoss plugin to give your members an engaging learning experience. It gives teams a platform for them to interact with each other, create groups, or forums, that keep them engaged as a community.

Winner: WordPress is your best bet. The membership plugins available make it possible to create engaging membership sites that give you and your visitors an excellent user experience. You can also use plugins like BuddyBoss combined with gamification plugins like GamiPress or myCred for utmost flexibility for community building.

Email marketing

ClickFunnels is an all-in-one platform for building a profitable sales-generating business. While it offers advanced tools to create sales funnels, it is not an email marketing platform.

However, with the ClickFunnels Platinum package, you get access to the Follow-up funnels (formally Actionetics). I have to say it is worth every dime. This feature works like magic.

ClickFunnels follow up funnels

It has an email autoresponder that allows you to send email broadcasts to your mailing list. But that’s not the cool part.

Funnel Actions is the cool kid. With this, you get to track every single action that your visitors take on your sales funnel. As a result, you can create smart email lists that allow you to run highly personalized and customized email campaigns.

And that’s not all. You get to A/B test your email campaigns before they go out. You can split-test videos, images, buttons, content, subject lines, etc.

But, if you need a more robust email marketing function, you can integrate with tools like ActiveCampaign, Drip, Mailchimp, or GetResponse.

And honestly, most of the people I know using ClickFunnels don’t have access to Actionetics. It’s too expensive. They integrate with third-party email marketing service providers.

WordPress, on the other hand, doesn’t have email marketing capabilities unless you use plugins and integrations.

So you can use the native WordPress plugin MailPoet, Mailster, or SendinBlue WordPress SMTP.

But if you use the Elementor plugin as your page builder, I like that you can integrate the forms, pages, and popups with email autoresponders. Drip(review), Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, MailerLite, GetResponse, and ConvertKit(review) are available in the Elementor Form Actions.

Alternatively, you can use the webhook action to connect to other email marketing services.

Thrive Architect

Also, if you use Thrive Architect, you can leverage the collection of plugins that come with the Thrive Suite to skyrocket your marketing efforts.

Thrive Leads will give you in-depth reporting across all your lead gen campaigns. I guarantee you’ll generate thousands of leads to your email list. If you want to build your email list, it’s the go-to plugin. It has more features than Optinmonster and it’s cheaper.

Plus the Thrive Quiz Builder will not only help you increase your subscriber engagement but also further segment them creating more personalized experiences.

You can also integrate WordPress with HubSpot, ActiveCampaign, GetResponse for more flexibility and power. If you’re on a budget, MailerLite or Moosend will work just fine.

WordPress integrations

Winner: Tie. Both platforms will work best when integrated with email service providers and plugins. It’s the only way to ensure you get the most out of your marketing campaigns.

Integrations

ClickFunnels doesn’t come with a boatload of integrations. All they have are several ESPs and a few other third-party tools.

But, they have Zapier that opens doors to a whole new world. You can use Zapier to request the API and integrate it with almost any third-party tool you might want.

ClickFunnels integration

Over to WordPress.

There are a myriad of third-party integrations available on WordPress. From eCommerce to productivity, communication, membership sites, you name it.

We can bet that any software that works online WordPress has a way to communicate with it. Whether it’s using API, a plugin, or Javascript, WordPress will provide a solution.

Zapier for WordPress

It’s also connected to Zapier so you’ll have access to thousands of tools. Simply install the Zapier plugin; it’s free on WordPress.org.

Or you can opt to use the WordPress Zapier known as Uncanny Automator. It helps the plugins on your WordPress site communicate with each other.

This plugin has enabled me to enhance course engagement as it has tight integrations with LearnDash and other popular plugins.

Winner: WordPress. They will provide you with a solution to integrate with almost any platform and tool you need for your pages.

Community and support

I give ClickFunnels a big thumbs up for their vibrant community and fast response times.

They offer live chat and email support options that get back to you in no time. And when you’re on the platinum package, you get dedicated VIP phone assistance.

Also, they have FunnelFlix, commonly known as the Netflix of digital marketing. Here you’ll get a rich database of webinars, how-to guides, eBooks, videos, and tutorials on the ins and outs of ClickFunnels.

They have active and vibrant communities online including their Facebook Group with +250K members. And we can’t forget their Funnel Hacking Live event and The Two Comma Club.

Earn over $10 million in one sales funnel and you’ll be awarded the Two Comma Club X Award (being recognized with a large plaque).

With WordPress, the free WordPress.com site can only access community support. And by a community, I don’t mean you go searching for an official WordPress community group.

You’ll be disappointed because there is none. They have communities rallying around their themes, plugins, and tutorials. Sorry.

On the bright side, the communities around WordPress themes and plugins are very active and interactive. You’ll get numerous tutorials, videos, forums, YouTube channels, and even Facebook Groups that answer any burning WordPress plugin/theme question you might have.

You’ll be able to access a forum of users who have faced similar obstacles and see the answers provided to them.

Winner: ClickFunnels wins (for Funnel-specific support). In the case of WordPress, you may need to deal with technicalities or have a developer by your side.

Pricing

Now over to the pricing battle. This is a significant decision-making factor because regardless of how good the features are you have to go with a tool that fits your pocket.

ClickFunnels has a 14-day free trial for all its packages.

ClickFunnels pricing

The basic plan costs $97/ month and you can create up to 20 funnels and 100 web pages. Then we have the ClickFunnels Platinum plan that goes for $297/month.

This plan gives you access to all premium features including Follow-up funnels and the Backpack Affiliate Program for your affiliate management.

Then walk the big boys club, Two Comma Club X that will cost you an arm and a leg. About $1497 monthly.

Over to WordPress.

WordPress.org is a free open-source CMS. You need to host it on your website with a domain name. Both of these cost you around $100/year to begin with.

However, you should also consider using at least one plugin for every aspect of creating high-converting funnels and landing pages.

For page building, choose either

  • Elementor $49 / year
  • Thrive Suite – $228 / year

For payment gateway choose either:

On average WordPress setup costs you approximately between $250 – $800 that’s in the first year. So if you have a lifetime deal you will be paying less than $495 down the line.

With ClickFunnels, you’ll be paying $1164 every year come rain come sunshine. And that’s the basic package.

Winner: WordPress. They have very flexible pricing plans that small and medium-sized businesses can work with without breaking a sweat.

Verdict

Your choice will be based on various factors starting with your business goals to your budget.

In conclusion, go for ClickFunnels if:

  • You are not tech-savvy and you want to avoid a steep learning curve.
  • Your main goal is to create high converting sales funnels
  • You want a simple plug-and-play sales funnel and landing page builder that saves time.
  • Your goal is to sell your products or services and get your ROI.
  • You have the budget for it.

Go for WordPress if:

  • You want more power and flexibility when creating your sales funnels and web pages.
  • You need a massive collection of plugins and integrations.
  • You want to maximize your control on search engine optimization so as to get organic traffic.
  • Creating content for search is your thing.
  • You have the time and capability to learn and build web and sales pages. Or you can hire a developer.



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