ClickFunnels and WordPress are very popular platforms for online businesses and particularly course creators.
If you’re new to the industry however, it can be difficult to really understand the difference between these two and make a decision for your business.
In this review we break down everything you need to know and how both tools perform and compare for a range of features.
What’s the difference between ClickFunnels and WordPress?
ClickFunnels launched its 2.0 version in October 2022 and made a transition from being mostly used as a funnel builder, to an all-in-one platform.
This means that you don’t have to use almost any other external tools to have all of your business run on the platform.
WordPress on the other hand has been around for as long as personal websites have been a thing, and has always provided a lot of plugins and tools to create anything you desire online.
The core difference between the two platforms is that ClickFunnels is a SaaS platform that you don’t completely control, whereas WordPress is a self-hosted platform you fully own.
Think of it as renting a furnished vs an unfurnished apartment.
ClickFunnels provides all of the tools most creators need and you can customize and use these to some extent.
WordPress doesn’t put any limitations on what you can do with it but you’ll have to figure out how to put it all together and arrange it.
Another important point to make is that WordPress only performs and functions as well as the theme and plugin suite you use!
For the purpose of this review, we’ll compare the two platforms with WordPress powered on our #1 pick which is the Thrive Themes suite.
Tools & Feature Comparison
ClickFunnels has always been the reference online for funnel building, and they’ve always promoted that framework over building a traditional website.
This has changed with their 2.0 version which now also allows you to easily create any kind of website you want with the new builder and global elements (for the header and footer for instance)
The actual page editor has also been upgraded and still makes it very easy to build and design your page with a simple drag and drop approach.
WordPress powered with Thrive Architect or Elementor also makes building pages very easy with tons of premade templates.
Both builders are relatively similar in terms of capabilities, but WordPress does allow for infinite customization.
If you just wanted to build a few simple pages or funnels, ClickFunnels and WordPress are just about the same.
But if you want to build something like a directory, or pages with advanced functionalities with custom posts and categories and dynamic content, WordPress is a must.
Both platforms have a blogging feature, ClickFunnels made this addition with the 2.0:
Technically, ClickFunnels and WordPress blogs posts can be SEO optimized and rank just as well.
But in practice WordPress gives you a lot more tools and flexibility to be successful in your organic strategy with a range of plugins and analytics you won’t get on ClickFunnels.
Checkout & Affiliate System
ClickFunnels comes equipped with a checkout system, able to facilitate selling both physical and digital products.
The new 2.0 version brings forth new features around eCommerce and handling SKUs and stock directly in the platform.
You’ll simply need to create an account with the dedicated payment solution ClickFunnels now makes mandatory (which can still be hooked to Stripe and Paypal).
And of course, from the Pro plan and up you’ll be able to use an affiliate program.
In other words, ClickFunnels provide the full suite of tools you’d want here.
On the other hand, WordPress doesn’t inherently come with a checkout system.
Several options are available, depending on what you’re trying to sell.
Our favorite one is Thrivecart which has a native integration with Thrive Themes.
Of course, this is an additional cost to take into account, but such specialized tools often have more advanced features than ClickFunnels.
For instance, ClickFunnels doesn’t allow for split payment or pay-what-you-want options.
Online Course Delivery
This is one of the most important features for course creators and something ClickFunnels has historically not done a good job for…
Until its latest update!
You can now both design your course pages with the front-end builder and manage content in the back-end:
Video hosting is now also included in any plans for your products.
Which brought ClickFunnels up to par with other online course platforms.
Thrive Apprentice (part of the Thrive Theme WordPress suite), does still allow for more control over the design of your programs.
There are also more options to include learning tools such as Quizzes and Assessments, crucial to the learning experience.
Here again, WordPress allows for more control and customization than ClickFunnels.
It’s good to note however that WordPress isn’t suited to host video content, for which you’ll have to pay for services such as Vimeo or Wisitia.
Other Tools & Features
So far we’ve compared apples to apples with features that both platforms share and can be looked at side by side.
But let’s highlight other important features that ClickFunnels and WordPress separately bring to the table:
ClickFunnels Emails & Automation: one of the most important marketing tools for course creators is their email list and the ability to send broadcasts.
This is now available to ClickFunnels 2.0 users on any plan, including powerful automations and autoresponders:
This is all integrated with other parts of the platform which allows for a lot of automations that could save you a ton of time!
ClickFunnels CRM: as part of the platform, you’ll be able to manage your contacts, lists and segments.
Which also makes things easier when dealing with customer support and troubleshooting what’s working and what’s not.
WordPress Community: ClickFunnels doesn’t offer a community feature, which is important to many course creators for their program.
There are a lot of options when using WordPress to integrate this to your website by using one of the popular community plugins.
WordPress other plugins: WordPress is the most popular website platform online and has a plethora of plugins to offer.
These can help with many aspects of your business: site speed, custom functionalities, SEO tracking and optimization, anti-spam, security etc.
Pricing: Comparison ClickFunnels vs WordPress
This is of course an important part of the decision making process when considering ClickFunnels and WordPress.
As we’ve seen throughout this review, using WordPress to achieve a similar feature stack than ClickFunnels will come with a few extra costs.
Below is what you could generally expect:
Checkout & Affiliate System
LMS plugin (Thrive Themes)
This is just to give you an idea and is considering the Pro plan of ClickFunnels since you wouldn’t get the affiliate feature on the Basic plan.
All in all, ClickFunnels is on the pricier end of the scale, even compared to similar platforms.
It probably will be a little cheaper to use WordPress but of course that comes with the extra time of setting it up and maintaining it, while ClickFunnels comes ready to use out of the box.
Support and Community: ClickFunnels vs WordPress
ClickFunnels has gathered the biggest community online among other SaaS platforms in the industry.
With over 270k+ members in its Facebook group, there is a deep network that has formed and you could tap in for support and advice.
On the support side, the platform has often been criticized for a subpar customer service experience and relatively slow response time.
That being said, the fact that WordPress and the suite of tools we’ve mentioned through this review will come from different companies, makes the support process less streamlined.
But the platform powers 43% of all websites online and also has a huge community of fellow users to learn from.
ClickFunnels VS WordPress: The Bottom Line
ClickFunnels would be a better choice if
WordPress would be a better choice if