You might have heard about it and you might wonder what it actually is. Webflow is a tool to design, develop, launch and host modern and custom-made websites. But it's not just another web builder tool like Wix or Squarespace where you have limited possibilities to change the design. I like to compare it more with the Adobe Photoshop for web development. It's a flexible tool with many options to empower the developers and designers to work more efficiently. Every design part can be modified in a visual frontend editor and if you additionally have code knowledge it's the perfect assistant to save development time. Let me sum up below the top 10 reasons why you should use Webflow on your next website launch.
In the past I've been developing with my team many WordPress websites. We actually managed to become solid WordPress experts and launched some pretty impressive sites with complex structures and custom made connections. Most projects were profitable, but we also had many of them where we simply lost money, because we weren't efficient enough, although we had some decent budgets. Simple changes could end up being a nightmare, because they suddenly activated conflicts with installed plugins or uncontrolled style classes. It was frustrating. Not only for us, but for our clients. Our senior developers had to invest tons of hours to solve the issues. It wasn't really the most enjoyable work.
The game-changer for us: Webflow. A tool which allows us to stay focussed and not lose precious time on redundant tasks. You get a clean and minimal code and by using the real-time frontend editor, you can see what you are developing. Our development time chart crashed once we changed completely from WordPress to Webflow. Tasks which normally took us several days were suddenly possible in hours. Saving time means more profit and a happier client, who gets things done super fast. Small content changes can be even done by almost everyone in the editor mode without needing the knowledge of developers and these developers can now focus on more advanced tasks and regain the true joy of programming. It's a win-win situations for all.
- Clean and minimal code
- Faster development times
- Huge time and money savings
- Higher ROI for all
- Editor to make content changes easily
- No dependency on developers
Speaking about efficiency, let's take a look a the hosting. Webflow teamed up with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to ensure a high-speed and extrem reliable hosting in the cloud. In addition they are using Fastly and Amazon Cloudfront to serve the content with a lightning fast CDN (Content Delivery Network). The websites are also loaded with HTTP/2 through over more than 100 datacenters to ensure the best and fastest result possible. AWS is already the biggest cloud provider worldwide and their servers are secure and scalable, so you don't need to worry about server hardware or replacements.
The management and maintenance of such servers are usually costly, because you need several specialists, but with Webflow it's all compressed in an easy to use control panel, where you can simply connect your domain and you are ready to go. The SSL certificate and its automatic renewals are also included. Keep in mind though that the hosting will be available exclusively for the specific website plan you launch. You won't have access to further configuration options.
- High-speed and extrem reliable hosting in the cloud with Amazon Web Services
- Secure and scalable servers
- No need to worry about server hardware or replacements
- Lightning fast CDN powered by Fastly and Amazon Cloudfront
- HTTP/2 ready
- SSL certificate included
- Easy to use and simplified control panel
Although Webflow is going to celebrate their 10th birthday in 2023 and it's gaining a lot a popularity recently between designers, developers and clients, you might still have doubts about the future of the platform. There is nothing worse than investing money in a discontiniued technology, just to end up rebuilding your site again in another platform.
Could this happen to Webflow? Let's take a look at same statistics so that you can make yourself an idea about the seriousness of Webflow. The company was founded in 2013 and backed by Y Combinator's startup accelerator, known for supporting previous startups like AirBnB, Stripe, Coinbase or Dropbox. They have raised $335 million in capital, reaching recently a $4 billion valuation with a revenue of nearing the $100 million. Over 400 employees are working on new features, maintaining and improving the actual ones and giving an extrem good customer service. This is also the reasong why huge companies like Dell, PWC, Vice or Rakuten already trust and launched their websites with Webflow. On top of that you can find a huge and rapidly growing community of over 3.5 million developers and designers worldwide committed to Webflow. So in conclusion we can say that there is a very solid ground and a strong forecast for Webflows future.
- Backed by Y Combinator
- Already in business since 2013
- Received $335 million in capital
- $4 billion dollar valuation
- Nearing $100 million revenue
- Over 400 top employees
- Clients like Dell, PWC, Vice and Rakuten
- Over 3.5 million active designers and developers
I've been reading some articles about people complaining about the "high" hosting prices of Webflow, but I have to admit that I don't share that opinion. In fact, I think it's one of the main reasons you should consider Webflow for your next project, because you will find affordable pricings. It's true that compared with an open-source platform like WordPress you will have to pay a monthly or annual fee, but keep in mind that you will still need a hosting plan to use WordPress. Taking a look at similar but not equal competitors like Squarespace reveal that the Webflow prices are even below what you would pay with them.
On the other side you need to compare the Webflow prices with the value you are getting. There is of course the whole software to built a top-notch website, which is already extremely valuable for your business because it saves you tons of hours of development, but just take a look at the maintenance of the servers and you will see that the costs are actually pretty low compared with what you get. Amazon Web Services is charging depending on the usage of your servers, if you have more visits on your site, you will pay more. With the fixed Webflow prices you won't have to fear about higher and instable invoices. Also, check out how much you would have to pay to simply maintain cloud servers like the ones at AWS and you will notice that the Webflow fees suddenly look like a too-good-to-be-true deal.
Investing in a good and solid infrastructure combined with a tool that saves you money by being efficient, should be an easy decision for you, if you take your business serious.
- Affordable monthly or annual plans
- Different plans depending on your needs
- Excellent price-performance ratio
Reason number 5 and perhaps the most important and fun reason. Webflow empowers you to change every single pixel of your website. On other platforms you are stucked with prebuilt templates or sections, meanwhile in Webflow you have the power to control everything, but keep in mind that with great power, comes great responsibility. Webflow is just the tool, you will need someone who knows how to use it correctly to deliver a responsive website with high quality standards. Speaking of responsiveness, Webflow comes with multiple screen sizing options to rapidly adapt your website to the different devices.
Webflow also offers an advanced functionality to create stunning animations in 2D and even 3D. You can also import Lottie Files or videos and choose when and how they should interact. No limits here. And to be even more efficient, you can create a modular design system using the so called "components", this way you save time by simply copying and pasting entire sections and manage its styles from one single source.
- Pixel perfect
- Fully Responsive With Multiple Screen Sizing Options
- Modular designs with components
Another powerful reason is the included and advanced content management system (CMS). It was never so easy to create with just a few clicks a new blog posts area, or a team member directory or a list of services. With Webflows CMS you can handle information which fits into the same content structure and it's super flexible because you can connect the different categories and show for example the different services by each team member or the latest blog posts by authors. Do the development once and you will have a well-structured page with dynamic content on the right place. You will love it.
- Rapidly create new items, categories, tem members…
- Connect multiple CMS categories easily
Webflow is just like WordPress very SEO-friendly. I would even say it's more SEO-friendly, because you don't need additional plugins to edit all the page information. Webflows native page panel offers you the possibility to setup meta titles, meta descriptions and co. The sitemap is generated automatically and if you want to push it further you can add Schema.org data into your custom code area.
You will also get options to clean up and compress the code to optimize the page speed performance, which also improves your chances to get a better positioning with SEO. Let me show a graph of a relaunch of one of our clients websites with the exact same content. The website was custom made with Laravel and we've migrated it Webflow, improving also the hierarchy of the code. In just a year we managed to double the traffic on that website.
- No need of external plugins to control SEO meta data
- Option to clean up and compress code for better performance
- Auto-generated sitemap
When I started speaking to senior custom code developers they were not very convinced about Webflow. Many thought Webflow would be just a website builder without options to integrate further tools, but it's quite the opposite. Thanks to other no-code tools and connectors like Make.com or Zapier it's easy to implement features that are not natively included inside Webflow. It even gets so far that you can built a complete Saas software with Webflow and other third party tools. Client dashboards, games, marketplaces, directories... everything can and has been developed already. The scalability is endless, because you can connect it via API, webhook or custom code.
- Integrations with other platforms
- Connect to other third party tools or custom code
Let's check the actual maintenance of your Webflow website. With platforms like WordPress you normally have several active plugins. One to improve SEO, another to connect Google Analytics or WooCommerce to have the ecommerce functionalities. These plugins need updates, but not only them, WordPress itself is in constant evolution and launches new versions, same happens to the template you might be using. This results in needing someone who can maintain and update everything correctly. Risiking to simply click on "Update all" could crash your whole site due to conflicts between the plugins, which is why it's always good to have a separate test version of your site, called the staging environment.
How does this work in Webflow? Well to begin with, there are no plugins and therefore no need to update them. Some features like the connection to Google Analytics work natively in the Webflow control panel and others can be inserted via custom code. This results in a reduction of maintenance times and costs to practically zero. And if you somehow need some maintenance, you can check if everything works fine in the staging environment which is created by Webflow automatically. What about backups? The backups are also automatically handled by Webflow and easy to restore with just a single click.
- No need for plugin, theme or platform updates
- Automatic backups
- Staging environment for testing purposes
Nowadays many clients expect to have control over their content. I'm not talking about changing the design, because therefore you would obviously need a profesional provider, but at least they should have the ability to change some text or images. Depending on the platform and the way it is developed, this could be achieved more or less elegantly. In Webflow you may have the most elegant solution. You can activate an editor mode for clients. This way they can access a control panel where they can simply click on the text on the actual website and change the content without the need of a provider or developer. Because of the real-time frontend editor, they will also see if the new content fits correctly. This is very useful to reduce or even eliminate possible maintenance costs for changing simple content. There is also a billing panel, where the clients can manage their payments and invoicing autonomously.
Another pain point for clients is the dependency on certain platforms. If you normally develop a website on one platform it's not that easy anymore to migrate it to another. Webflow won't take your website hostage. You can export the complete source code with a single click. Keep in mind though that you would have to migrate the images, videos and archives and that you would have to restore manually all the CMS functionalities.
- Editor to change content without needing developers
- Export your sites code
- Individual billing panel
There are many great tools for the development of websites out there. All of them have pros and cons depending on the individual needs of your project. Webflow is definitely not the best solution for every projects, but it's a solution with a lot freedom and possibilities. Nevertheless the right choice of the technology you use, can save you much time and money. If you are not sure if Webflow is a good fit, just reach out to me and we can check it together on a quick video call.