WordPress vs. Unbounce: What’s Best for Your Website?

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Colin Newcomer
Colin Newcomer

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Struggling to choose between Unbounce and WordPress for your landing pages and/or websites?

people choose between wordpress vs unbounce

I think that these are two great tools to consider, and both can help you achieve your business goals. In my personal experience, I like using WordPress because of the flexibility that it offers me when launching sites, but Unbounce can also be a stellar option if you’re laser-focused on building high-converting landing pages.

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In this post, I’ll help you choose the right tool by comparing and contrasting WordPress and Unbounce in a number of different areas. I’m not going to pick a single “winner” — instead, I’m just going to help you make the right decision for your unique situation.

Table of Contents

WordPress vs. Unbounce

WordPress is a flexible content management system that you can use to build any type of website, as well as landing pages. You can also easily extend the core WordPress software with WordPress themes (for design) and WordPress plugins (to add features).

In contrast, Unbounce is exclusively a landing page builder — it does not build full websites. It doesn’t let you install third-party extensions, but it includes an array of built-in features and integrations that cover what most people need to build landing pages.

WordPress Overview

Wordpress vs Unbounce, the WordPress.org homepage

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WordPress is a popular open-source content management system (CMS) that you can use for websites, landing pages, blogs, ecommerce stores, and more. It’s used by over 43% of all websites on the internet, which makes it by far the most popular tool to build a website.

A big part of what makes WordPress so popular is its flexibility and extensibility. While the core WordPress software gives you all the basic features that you need to make a website, you can also install WordPress plugins to add new features to your site and WordPress themes to control the design of your site.

By finding plugins for the functionality that is important to your use case, you can make WordPress do exactly what you need it to. And, if you can’t find a plugin to do what you need, WordPress’s open-source nature means that you can always edit the code yourself (or hire a developer to tweak things for you).

Note: “WordPress” (AKA “WordPress.org” or “self-hosted WordPress”) is not the same as “WordPress.com.” WordPress.com is one service that lets you use the WordPress software, but I’m comparing Unbounce versus WordPress in general in this post. To learn more, check out our WordPress.com versus WordPress.org post.

Unbounce Overview

Wordpress vs Unbounce, the Unbounce homepage

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Whereas WordPress is a multipurpose tool that you can use for all different types of websites, Unbounce is focused on one specific use case: helping you build landing pages. In addition to the landing pages themselves, it can also help you build some connected elements, such as pop-ups and sticky bars for your landing pages.

Unbounce is not open-source software like WordPress. Instead, it’s a closed-source software-as-a-service tool (SaaS). This approach has both pros and cons, which I’ll discuss below. But the upside is that Unbounce is super easy to use — you can register for an account and start building landing pages within minutes.

While you can’t fully access the underlying code of Unbounce because of its closed-source nature, Unbounce does have its own small App Marketplace that lets you add some features to the basic Unbounce platform. It also offers a number of built-in features and integrations, such as a built-in A/B testing tool and a lot of AI features.

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    How I Compared WordPress vs. Unbounce

    To give you confidence in the accuracy of my WordPress versus Unbounce comparison, I first want to start with a quick rundown of how I compared these tools and why you should trust my opinion.

    Let’s start with WordPress.

    I’ve been personally using WordPress for well over a decade now, so I have a deep understanding of what it offers. I know the WordPress CMS inside and out, including how to use it for marketing purposes, such as building landing pages (which is probably important to you if you’re considering Unbounce).

    While I don’t actively use Unbounce at this time, I have used it multiple times over the years. My first time signing up for Unbounce was back in 2019, and I’ve also used it at other points between then and now.

    Here’s a screenshot of my Unbounce signup email from 2019…

    The author's Unbounce signup email from back in 2019

    To make sure that my thoughts are accurate to how Unbounce is in 2024 and beyond, I dug into Unbounce again to discover any new features and changes they’ve made in the meantime, such as the new AI-powered Smart Builder that Unbounce recently launched.

    Key Differences Between Unbounce vs. WordPress

    Now that you understand the basics of Unbounce and WordPress, I want to take things a little more hands-on with a more detailed look at some key differences between WordPress and Unbounce.

    This will help you understand the pros and cons of each platform, along with which tool might be better for your specific situation.

    1. WordPress is more flexible.

    Let’s start with one of the biggest differences between Unbounce and WordPress — flexibility.

    In general, WordPress is a lot more flexible than Unbounce. Whereas Unbounce is just for landing pages, you can use WordPress for pretty much anything.

    You can use WordPress exclusively as a landing page builder, just like Unbounce, and there are some great landing page plugins to help you implement this use case.

    However, you can also use WordPress to build a complete website. Not just a specific type of website, either — you can use WordPress to build pretty much any kind of site, from portfolios to business brochure sites, blogs, ecommerce stores, membership sites, online courses, and more.

    With WordPress, you basically have an entire garage’s worth of tools that you can use for pretty much any situation imaginable. No matter what features you need in your website, you can probably get the job done using WordPress’s flexible nature and tens of thousands of pre-made plugins.

    Installing plugins via the WordPress dashboard

    If WordPress is an entire garage full of tools, Unbounce is more like a hammer. It focuses on doing one thing really well (building landing pages), just like a hammer focuses on doing one specific task well (pounding in nails).

    For a lot of people, I think that having the extra flexibility in WordPress can come in handy. Maybe you start with building landing pages, but later, you want to expand to a full website, offer a course, create a blog, and/or implement one of the many other use cases that WordPress allows. In other words, you can easily adapt as your needs change.

    With Unbounce, you’re always going to be limited to just building landing pages. But if that’s all you need to do, Unbounce might be all you need! And that brings me to another important difference.

    2. However, WordPress is also more complex.

    Above, I highlighted the advantages of the flexible approach that WordPress uses. However, all of that flexibility can also have a downside: WordPress is also more complex than Unbounce.

    Don’t get me wrong — I think that WordPress is still totally something that a non-technical person can use to build websites and/or landing pages. But if you’re looking for the absolute simplest way to start making landing pages, Unbounce has the edge.

    First off, setting up WordPress is a little more complex than Unbounce. Unless you use WordPress.com, you’ll need to purchase your own web hosting and install the free WordPress software before you can start building. Once you install WordPress, you’ll need to choose a WordPress theme to control the design of your site. You’ll also want to find and install plugins to add key features that you need.

    It’s totally different when you use Unbounce.

    With Unbounce, pretty much all you need to do is register for an account and start building your landing pages using the visual builder. There’s no need to mess around with web hosting, installing a theme, installing plugins to add more features, and so on.

    You just sign up and you can start building your first landing page within minutes. You’ll also already have access to important features that you need (like A/B testing) without needing to install additional plugins.

    3. WordPress has a much bigger plugin/extension marketplace.

    As I mentioned earlier, one of the most powerful things about WordPress is its large library of plugins that let you add new features to your website.

    I’m not exaggerating here — you can find a WordPress plugin for pretty much anything, whether it’s integrating HubSpot into your site, running A/B tests, creating pop-ups, making an ecommerce store, and lots, lots more.

    You can find ~60,000 free plugins at the official WordPress.org directory alone, plus thousands of other plugins that are available via other marketplaces or directly from developers.

    The WordPress.org plugin marketplace has almost 60,000 free plugins

    Image Source

    When you use Unbounce, you’re pretty much limited to the built-in features that Unbounce already offers. Unbounce does have its own app marketplace, but it’s tiny when compared to WordPress.

    At the time that I’m writing this Unbounce vs WordPress comparison, there are only 34 apps in the official Unbounce app marketplace (and these are the only apps available, as you can’t install your own third-party apps).

    The Unbounce app marketplace only has around 34 apps

    Image Source

    With that being said, Unbounce does let you add custom code snippets to your site, which would let you integrate third-party services that offer JavaScript embed codes. But even with that, Unbounce can’t come close to matching what WordPress offers when it comes to extensions.

    4. Unbounce offers two builder options, while WordPress gives you even more flexibility.

    With Unbounce, every single user will have the same general design experience to create their landing pages, with two options available:

    • Smart Builder. This newer builder uses AI to create a high-converting landing page for you based on a few details. You’ll choose the purpose of the page and a general color style. Then, you’ll enter a text prompt and other relevant information. From there, Unbounce Smart Builder will create the finished landing page design for you, even including generating text copy using AI. You’re still free to edit things as needed using a visual builder and section-based approach.
    • Classic Builder. This is a more “traditional” visual drag-and-drop builder. You can build landing pages from scratch or start from a pre-made template and customize things as needed. In addition to the visual builder, it also includes features to manage custom CSS and/or JavaScript. In general, it gives you more control than Smart Builder, but you’ll need to do more work when designing your page.

    I like that you now have two editor options in Unbounce, as it gives you a little more flexibility when creating your landing pages.

    Here’s a detailed video from Unbounce that shows how to use the new Smart Builder:

    With WordPress, however, you have even more options for choosing your preferred design experience. I think that this again speaks to the extra flexibility that WordPress adds, as well as its extra complexity.

    The default WordPress editor uses a block-based approach. It makes it easy to set up styled designs without code, and it also lets you see mostly what your finished page will look like. However, it’s not a true visual builder like what Unbounce offers.

    Unbounce vs WordPress, An example of editing a landing page using the native WordPress editor

    If you do want to add a full visual design experience to WordPress, you can install a WordPress page builder plugin like Elementor (which just so happens to offer a dedicated landing page feature).

    Unlike the default WordPress editor, Elementor offers a true visual-building experience that’s every bit as powerful as Unbounce’s Classic Editor (if not more).

    Unbounce vs WordPress, An example of editing a landing page using the Elementor builder plugin

    Personally, I like having the flexibility to choose my own design experience, so I prefer WordPress’s approach. However, if you would rather keep things as simple as possible, you might prefer that Unbounce controls the design experience for you with the Smart Builder and Classic Builder options.

    5. WordPress offers a lot more templates (for landing pages or full websites).

    While on the topic of design, I think it’s also important to cover the pre-made templates that each tool gives you access to. While both Unbounce and WordPress give you the power to build 100% unique designs from scratch, starting from a template can save you a lot of time.

    Unbounce offers a little over one hundred pre-made templates for both landing pages and pop-ups. With the new AI-powered Smart Builder, you can also create your own templates without designing them from scratch, which offers some additional flexibility.

    While that gives you a decent number of options, it doesn’t come close to touching what WordPress offers.

    To start with, WordPress offers thousands of themes that you can choose from. You typically use these to control the overall design of your entire site. That is, you usually won’t use a theme to create the design for a single landing page.

    For example, the WordPress.org theme directory alone has over ~11,000 free WordPress themes.

    Unbounce vs WordPress, The WordPress.org theme directory has over 11,000 free themes

    Image Source

    But beyond that, you can also find thousands of pre-made page templates, such as templates for a standalone landing page. You can use these to override your theme’s base design when needed. The only tricky thing here is that the templates you have access to will depend on which editor you’re using, such as Elementor, Beaver Builder, or Thrive Architect.

    Overall, if you want access to the largest and most diverse collection of pre-made templates, I think that WordPress gives you a lot more options when it comes to templates.

    How to Launch a WordPress Website

    Learn how to launch a website on WordPress with this step-by-step guide and checklist. Learn how to...

    • Set up your domain name.
    • Install an SSL certificate.
    • Analyze your content.
    • Back up your site.
    Learn more

      Download Free

      All fields are required.

      You're all set!

      Click this link to access this resource at any time.

      6. Unbounce offers built-in A/B testing functionality for landing page optimization.

      If you’re building landing pages, you’ll probably want the ability to run A/B tests to optimize your conversion rates.

      When it comes to A/B testing, Unbounce offers a very easy implementation (as long as you’re on a plan that supports it). You don’t need to set up any third-party integrations — you can just start running tests right from the Unbounce interface.

      Unbounce also includes helpful built-in analytics to help you track the performance of the different variants and pick the best variation.

      There’s also a Smart Traffic feature that lets you create a bunch of variants and automatically send users to the variant that’s best for them. Smart Traffic will automatically find the best-performing variant for each type of visitor and send visitors to the right spot.

      Here’s a video from Unbounce that explains the Smart Traffic feature:

      Compared to WordPress, running A/B tests in Unbounce is just a lot easier to use while still offering more advanced functionality. You can run A/B tests on WordPress, but it’s not as straightforward as Unbounce because you’ll need to rely on third-party A/B testing tools.

      I’m also not aware of any way to automatically implement something like Unbounce’s Smart Traffic feature on WordPress.

      So — if you think that you’ll be heavily testing your landing pages and using A/B testing on a regular basis, I think that could be a reason to choose Unbounce over WordPress. Similarly, if you think you’ll get value from Unbounce’s Smart Traffic feature, that’s another big point in its favor.

      7. WordPress is open-source, while Unbounce is closed-source.

      While this difference can get a little “inside baseball” if you’re not a technical person, another key difference between WordPress and Unbounce is in the software approach that each tool uses.

      WordPress is free, open-source software. In part, this means that you can view, download, or modify the WordPress codebase however you want. This gives you a lot of flexibility if you have the technical knowledge to work with code (or the budget to hire a developer).

      Unbounce uses a completely different approach. It offers closed-source software in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. In part, this means that you don’t have any access to the underlying code of Unbounce, only the features and abilities that Unbounce gives you access to. However, it also means that getting started is as simple as registering for an account.

      If using an open-source tool is important to you, then I think WordPress should obviously be at the top of your list.

      8. WordPress can be a lot cheaper (but it depends on your use case).

      When it comes to Unbounce versus WordPress pricing, WordPress will usually end up being a lot cheaper, which I think can make it the superior option for people who are on a budget.

      While Unbounce offers a 14-day free trial to let you test the software out, there’s no forever-free option.

      Unbounce’s paid plans start at $99 per month and range up to $625 per month. The primary differences between the plans are the number of unique visitors and conversions you can have per month.

      There are also some feature differences. For example, you need to go with at least the $145 per month Optimize plan to access Unbounce’s A/B testing functionality.

      Unbounce vs WordPress, Unbounce pricing plans

      Image Source

      While the WordPress software itself is free, you will need to pay some money to make a WordPress site. Most notably, you’ll need web hosting, which will cost you around $5 per month at the absolute minimum. However, I think that most serious businesses should invest in hosting that costs around $20-$30 per month because it offers superior performance and reliability.

      From there, you might also want a premium WordPress theme and potentially some premium plugins, depending on your situation. For example, if you want to access a drag-and-drop designer like Unbounce, you might want to pay for the Elementor Pro plugin, which costs $59 per year.

      Even with all of that, though, your WordPress site will probably end up costing anywhere from 25% to 50% of what you’d pay at Unbounce, which is a significant cost savings.

      For a more detailed breakdown, you can read our full post on how much WordPress costs.

      9. Unbounce handles security for you, while you’ll have some responsibility on WordPress.

      If you create your WordPress site using your own web hosting, you’ll be responsible for at least some of the security of your site, such as promptly applying updates and keeping an eye out for vulnerabilities in the plugins that you’re using.

      Here’s what it looks like to update WordPress — you just go to the Dashboard → Updates area and use the interface to apply your updates. You’ll also want to always back up your WordPress site before applying updates.

      Unbounce vs WordPress, How to apply updates on a WordPress website

      This is not a big deal, and it won’t take much time, but it is something that needs to be on your mind.

      With Unbounce, you don’t need to think about security at all because Unbounce handles it for you. If you just want to focus on building landing pages and not worrying about anything else, I think that Unbounce could be a better option.

      10. Unbounce offers dedicated customer support, while WordPress offers community support.

      Because WordPress is a free, open-source project, there’s no official support channel for the core WordPress software itself. That is, you can’t just hop on a live chat with “the WordPress customer support team.”

      However, because WordPress is so popular, it’s pretty easy to find community support for most issues, whether that’s reading blog posts, posting in a forum, or joining a Facebook group.

      Additionally, most WordPress extensions (themes and plugins) do offer support, especially if it’s a paid extension. For example, if you purchase the Elementor Pro plugin, you can get support directly from the Elementor Team. This support is focused on Elementor, though — not your entire WordPress site.

      With Unbounce, it’s totally different. Because it’s a SaaS tool, you can get 24/7 support via email ticket, as well as live chat and phone support during USA business hours (Monday to Friday from 6 AM to 6 PM PST).

      If you’re the type of person who likes to be able to get customer support on the phone whenever you hit a snag, that could make Unbounce a good option.

      Another alternative would be to pay for a WordPress support/maintenance service. These third-party services give you access to dedicated support for all things WordPress (but they can get expensive depending on how much help you want).

      Making the Right Choice

      In the end, choosing between WordPress and Unbounce really depends on your specific situation and goals, along with your budget. So, rather than trying to declare one overall winner, I think it’s more useful to share some thoughts on when you might want to use each tool based on my personal experience with both.

      When to Consider Unbounce

      If you want the absolute simplest way to build standalone landing pages and you’re willing to pay for that convenience, I think that Unbounce could be the best option for you.

      While Unbounce can’t match WordPress in terms of flexibility, not everyone is interested in flexibility. If you’re only focused on landing pages, you’re probably only really concerned with the features that you need to do that well, such as A/B testing, integrations with the tools that you’re using (e.g., your CRM), analytics, and so on.

      Unbounce does all of those things well. And if those types of features are all you need, you can sign up and start building landing pages within minutes at Unbounce.

      Of course, you will pay a premium for that convenience. But sometimes, paying that premium is worth it if it helps you more effectively achieve your business goals in less time.

      When to Consider WordPress

      Unless you fit in the situation that I outlined in the previous section, I recommend that everyone else use WordPress.

      The first reason to consider WordPress is that you want to build more than just landing pages. For example, if you want to build a website and then also build some dedicated landing pages for specific marketing campaigns, WordPress will let you do all of that with the same setup. For most people, that will be more convenient.

      Another big reason to consider WordPress is that you need more flexibility for adding features, setting up integrations, and/or setting up automations. You can access tens of thousands of plugins to add new features. Plus, because WordPress is so popular, most services offer some type of WordPress integration. For example, if you’re using HubSpot, you can use the official HubSpot WordPress plugin to integrate HubSpot with your WordPress website.

      Note: Unbounce actually does have a dedicated HubSpot integration as well. But a lot of the other services that you might be using won’t have dedicated Unbounce integrations like HubSpot does.

      The final big reason to consider WordPress is cost. While the exact cost will depend on your specific WordPress implementation, most people will find that WordPress is cheaper than Unbounce for many use cases.

      Using Both Unbounce and WordPress

      Finally, I think it’s worth pointing out that you don’t necessarily need to choose between Unbounce and WordPress.

      It’s totally possible that you might like different parts of each tool. For example, maybe you really value Unbounce’s landing page functionality, but you also want the ability to build a full website, too.

      In these situations, Unbounce actually offers a dedicated Unbounce WordPress plugin that lets you integrate your Unbounce landing pages into your WordPress site. You can easily build your landing pages in Unbounce and then publish them to your WordPress site using the plugin.

      This is similar to how you can use HubSpot and WordPress as standalone ways to build a website. Or, you can integrate HubSpot into WordPress using the HubSpot WordPress plugin.

      So, if you want the best of both worlds and you’re willing to pay a little more, you can consider using both Unbounce and WordPress at the same time.

      Getting Started

      That wraps up my hands-on look at how Unbounce and WordPress compare. If you made it this far, you should have all of the information that you need to choose the right tool for your business, both now and in the future.

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