An eye for designs?
The market is rife with website-building tools that promise to help non-designers create beautiful, functional sites. However, most fall short in the design and development departments. A select few are exceptions to this rule: Webflow.
To build a website, most teams use a graphic design tool, an application for prototyping, and another for producing the actual code.
The design process for a website can be challenging—here are some of the most common challenges web designers face:
- There can be a disconnect between visual design and coding when designers create mockups in popular visual design software (such as Sketch) which developers later have to code.
- Designers can create beautiful, complex effects with Hi-Fi prototypes. However, developers and engineers will have to work hard at achieving a similar effect in code.
- Website designers should design a site to be viewed on a variety of devices with varying screen sizes.
What is Webflow?
Webflow is an in-browser design tool that allows users to create responsive websites visually. It provides an all-in-one platform for business owners to take their ideas from initial conception to final product.
Webflow helps you create high-fidelity prototypes from your website or app and share them with team members and stakeholders.
These interactive builds are based on actual code. People reviewing your prototype can see how the finished product will actually behave.
This is a significant advantage for designers and developers because it lets them focus on building the best possible UI rather than setting up mocks and building mockups in multiple tools.
Webflow is a web design platform for teams and individuals to create professional-looking sites without writing code.
While other website builders such as Squarespace and Wix are essentially WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editors, Webflow allows users to manipulate the code used to build websites.
If you want your site to host dynamic content, use Webflow’s CMS. Otherwise, you will want to export the code of your finished site and host it on any hosting provider of your choosing.
Webflow’s pricing can be confusing. It charges by the project rather than the month and offers 12 unique plans. To help you decide which plan is right for your site, we’ve put together this Webflow pricing guide.
Read on to learn how to pick the right plan for your Webflow site.
We will discuss Webflow’s paid plans in more detail later in the article, but shortly: there are two major categories of plans: Site plans (for single websites), and Account plans (for agencies and freelancers who need to build multiple sites).
The starting prices for the most basic site plan are $12 USD/month, with a Standard Ecommerce plan for $29 USD/month. These prices are for single sites hosted on Webflow.
Account plans start from $16 USD/month for up to 2 projects (or 10 projects, depending on your needs). Again, we will talk about these features in more detail in later sections.
Webflow’s site plans are best suited to those who need a single, published website – whether that’s a blog, business website or online store.
Sites will be hosted with Webflow (unlike with account plans–see the Webflow account plans section below for more information).
You’ll also be able to use a custom domain, e.g. www.yoursite.com–one of the key differences between a website on a site plan vs. an account plan
If you want to try Webflow before committing to a paid plan, we recommend using the free Starter plan, which includes two sites and allows publishing of your work to a Webflow sub-domain.
You can also keep your site for free if you do not use your own domain or display a Webflow badge. This will give you a chance to try our platform and see whether it meets your needs.
I often marketed Webflow as an easier-to-use alternative to WordPress. To appeal to both professional users and freelancers/agencies, Webflow provides flexible plans for any size business.
Webflow vs WordPress
Building a website can be simple or complex, but the two most popular tools are Webflow and WordPress. While both help you get started with a site quickly, they offer very different approaches to designing the site itself—so it’s important to choose the right tool for the right job.
If you have Webflow CMS enabled, you can add blog posts and content pages to your site by creating blocks.
When you’re working in your CMS dashboard, you’ll be able to add media like images and videos easily, but the editor won’t be as flexible as WordPress’s standard editor.
If you want to start a website but don’t want to spend a lot of time curating its initial design, WordPress and Webflow both offer ways to choose a pre-made design.
WordPress calls these themes and Webflow calls them templates, but they are essentially the same thing.
The most significant difference is that WordPress has a much larger theme marketplace than Webflow does.
Webflow’s User Interface
Webflow has a user interface that’s more complex than what you’d find when using a design tool like Canva, but still not as intimidating as something you’d find in the Adobe Creative Suite.
Pre-designed elements of a website make it easier for one to avoid getting lost in the details.
These include photos, video, text and a variety of other forms of media.
For those who want to make their site unique, the builder allows complete customization of every aspect of the site.
The Webflow university
Webflow University is not your standard product training material. This is where you will begin your journey with this product, and it is a place I wish there were more of.
These tutorials are fast-paced, go straight to the point, and are superbly funny.
Even if it is technically learning. The Webflow community makes the content with love, care and attention to detail by professionals.
Webflow’s built-in hosting is a nice perk for developers who want to work on a project from beginning to end in the same place. It saves them time and hassle, and it keeps their projects more secure.
Web hosting is a necessary part of running a website, but it’s difficult to find reliable, fast, and affordable internet hosting.
Webflow’s integrated development environment (IDE) takes care of those problems for you.
If you are using a platform like WordPress, you will either have to set it up on your web host yourself or find a web host that does that for you.
You may need to use FTP (File Transfer Protocol) if you want to access files on your site. This may prove complicated and time-consuming.
With Webflow, everything’s taken care of. The only third-party services you require are domain registrars, which you can manage from within the app, and CDN providers, which Webflow takes care of as an automatic part of the platform.
The platform handles all website hosting and security needs, including a CDN and SSL certificate.
Webflow limits the number of monthly visitors to its hosting service, but the servers scale well under load and can handle additional traffic.
Webflow’s CMS builds solutions for expanding businesses, ensuring you have the speed, stability, and security you need for your growing web presence.
Launch on Webflow’s network today.
Pros of Webflow
- By providing clients with a live prototype, Webflow streamlines the design process. It will bolster their confidence in the design, setting more concrete expectations for both you and the client.
- Webflow cuts down on development time, allowing you to create responsive websites while maintaining a high level of quality.
- You can present design iterations to your clients early in the project and easily make changes based on feedback.
- This platform reduces the time between client approval and version iteration, bringing the project closer to launch and decreasing the time needed for the last development.
- With Webflow CMS, you can allow clients to edit the content on their site in a way that works best for their business.
- Our Content Management System gives your clients access to their site’s content in a secure space so they can focus on adding valuable content without having to worry about bringing down their entire website.
- When designers can create and test interactions themselves, they can invent more creative solutions and communicate their ideas faster. Unfortunately, the conversation can turn into a game of telephone because the tool is so difficult to use.
- Webflow makes it easy to design and test unique interactions by creating components (called symbols) that can be reused again and again.
For developers and CMS
- Plugins for popular content management system like Webflow have become the leading solution for adding site functionality in a fraction of the time it would take to develop your own version.
- Handing off a half-finished website to another developer can be more difficult than it seems.
- The developer taking the hand-off often needs to orient themselves to the previous developer’s methods and habits.
- Webflow’s consistent code approach helps projects become more collaborative and faster to ship.
Why Webflow isn’t so good
- The Webflow email form system is excellent, but it has limited functionality when compared to third-party options.
- To connect to a CRM or external database, you need to use Zapier or another tool that provides embed code.
- E-commerce is now a basic feature of many websites. Some companies allow customers to create an account and log in so they can access their purchase history and easily reorder items.
- Webflow’s 24/7 support is a far cry from the quality of support received from major competitors in the industry.
- Worst of all, it leaves users to troubleshoot on their own if a problem arises, which can be quite frustrating for serious businesses.
- Expensive pricing plans, with prices from $12/month to $212/month
However, from this review, users could infer that the Webflow website builder is only better at design level of creating digital products.