Today, most web designers simply outsource the coding part of their projects, first using a sophisticated design software like Illustrator or Photoshop to create the design itself. This makes websites more expensive, time- and effort-consuming.
Riding the increasing demand for code-free web design tools (please don’t confuse those with drag-and-drop site builders for newbies), many web design companies start developing their own code-free design applications. Many of these are then shared with the world.
The Mountain View-based company was founded by brothers Vlad and Sergie Magdalin, along with CTO Bryat Chou. “This has been a ten-year journey for me personally,” Vlad says. The brothers had previously worked at Intuit, where they developed Intuit Brainstorm – the first enterprise SaaS project of Intuit.
Webflow is an in-browser design studio for professionals who want to build sites for their clients without having to code. Since its launch in 2013, it has been used by known design teams, along with more than 10,000 other users.
Who is it for? Similar to Webydo and Adobe Muse, Webflow is being targeted not at small businesses – the way a number of visual site builders are – but rather at independent designers, teams and agencies who build websites for clients.
1. Ease of Use
Webflow is mainly created with the needs of professionals in mind, but it still ensures easy and convenient web building experience to all users, irrespective of their web design expertise level. With an intuitive interface offering a set of common web elements, a broad range of widgets that can be customized to your liking and drag-and drop visual editor, adding new content and publishing a website becomes a matter of several minutes.
Webflow has everything you need to launch a responsive website of top notch quality. The platform doesn’t imply the awareness of coding skills, but provides quick access to CSS and HTML elements for those, who know how to edit them to give their websites personalized look. Webflow editor allows creating and editing the content directly on the page, which eliminates the necessity to browse through the system’s backend looking for the required editing tools. By controlling each step of the web creation process, a user gets a chance to see the result and make the edits right from the start without breaking the website design. That’s a benefit for newbies.
All Webflow websites are responsive by default. This means that they look great and perform well on any mobile device. The system offers a rich fonts gallery, hundreds of responsive customizable templates, tons of design elements and other features that make it a great start for everyone!
2. Feature Set and Flexibility
Webflow isn’t a static platform. This website builder presents itself as the first visual content management system and a blogging platform. This means that it can be used as a starting point for a WordPress site, or for creating static brochure-like responsive websites.
When it comes to functionality, the system ensures utmost flexibility. It unveils lots of opportunities to users willing to create websites with excellent visual appeal and performance. Thus, it provides customizable forms, which contain the set of required elements, drop down menus, tabs, HTML embedding option, HTML/CSS sliders and carousels, background video integration, interactive Google maps, lightbox components, social sharing option, rich text components, responsive website navigation and other features that bring Webflow functionality to the top notch level.
- Mobile optimization. With Webflow, you can easily preview the design for mobile (portrait/landscape), tablet, and desktop viewing. Just switch the canvas to a different device and fine tune your design in the What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get mode.
Mobility. As opposed to most DIY sitebuilders that only run on their own servers (=you can’t move your site elsewhere), Weblflow allows you to simply export the generated code and take it where you want. This mobility is what makes Webflow stand out. While with most website builders you’re locked in their servers, Webfllow lets you export the site to send it to a developer for extended customization, for instance.
Custom typography. Webflow allows you to add Google Fonts, Adobe TypeKit Fonts, and even upload your own custom fonts.
Customizable responsive layouts. You’re not limited when it comes to layouts either. While most site builders don’t let you change the site’s layout (you are limited only to dragging site elements to the given containers), Webflow provides fully customizable templates.
Email forms. Webflow makes it easy to create complex forms.
Custom interactions and animations. It only takes four steps to create a custom interaction:
- Set initial appearance – choose how your element will appear before the page loads (optional).
- Choose a trigger – decide what event or what kind of action will initiate an animation.
- Combine CSS and transitions.
- Apply globally. Select an element, go to element settings and apply the interaction.
Webflow also allows integrating motion design features into your website to make it interactive, stylish and contemporary. It lets a user create 3D CSS transforms, animations and design interactions without any need of code writing. This is one of the most advanced CMS in this respect.
Due to the abundance of design features and advanced functionality, Webflow is considered a modern visual content management system, which can be used by people with diverse web building experience. The system offers an opportunity to make use of their REST API to add, update and delete collection elements directly from the terminal. It’s also possible to use dynamic content sorting and filtering, review form submission in the system editor, dynamically customize the templates and content structures, “related posts” blog modules, RSS feeds for CMS Collections etc.
To get the most out of the web design process, Webflow ensures easy collaboration with clients. Instead of customizing a website on your own, you can add your client as an editor to update website content together. This contributes to the efficacy of the web creation process and the overall result.
Webflow is one of the systems that come with advanced CMS white labeling features. This feature allows using the system under your own brand by adding your (or your client’s) logo and putting the brand recognition signs in the front and central parts of email notification submission forms. The feature helps build customer trust and boost your business popularity.
There is no need to write meta titles and descriptions for each blog post individually. The system has made it possible to create one template for all SEO tags, which will automatically generate search engine-friendly descriptions, titles and Open Graph content. For better search engine ranking of your website, the system has made it possible to add alt tags on images both in the design editor and CMS.
For this very reason, the system also automatically builds the XML sitemap. This is inevitably reflected in the SEO promotion of a newly created website. All in all, the platform gives search engines the most essential features, including super-fast page loads, clean semantic code, mobile-friendliness and easily customizable content. What else is needed for the effective promotion of your website?
|Number of Themes:||180|
|Professional Templates:||✔ YES|
|Free Themes:||✔ YES|
|Responsive Design:||✔ YES|
|Sort by Industry:||✔ YES|
|CSS Code Editing:||✔ YES|
Webflow offers a rich collection of templates, which are responsive by default. You can choose one of the ready-made templates or create that of your own from scratch by using a blank canvas. The templates are meant for designers, businesses and individuals, who wish to get quality and visually attractive websites to reach their goals. For quick and easy search, the templates are subdivided into categories based on the website types and business niches. Each template comes with a detailed description and can be customized with code-free design tools the system offers.
The system allows changing your website layout and block positioning, selecting typography, previewing and adjusting website layouts for the wide array of mobile devices, positioning background images and overlaying linear and radial CSS gradients, rearranging web page elements and completing other actions that contribute to stunning website design.
Web design management is super easy with Webflow. Thus, you can create your own custom 404 page design here to help your clients easily recover from facing the error. Many website builders don’t offer this feature, but Webflow takes care of their users’ convenience and considers this feature important. Apart from that, it is possible to create your own website favicon and webclip with the system by uploading your own images. This helps your website stand out from the crowd.
One of the most beneficial Webflow features is the ability to create backup versions of a website that is under construction. Whatever changes you make, the system allows saving current website version and restoring it with a few clicks of a mouse whenever it is necessary. This helps get the most out of web design process.
4. Customer Support
Webflow is user-focused. It is initially built with client’s web building needs and requirements in mind. Correspondingly, the system offers an impressive Help Center, which comprises different kinds of user assistance. Thus, it is possible to browse through the video and text tutorials as well as other informative content to find out how the system works. Users can also contact the customer support team of the service by email.
There is also round-the-clock access to the Webflow Community Forum, where you can find answers to the FAQ as well as those of your own, share your work and ideas, find out tips and useful tricks or just chat with other system users. Priority support is also available here. By subscribing to one of the paid plans, you have all the chances to get priority assistance to cope with your web creation tasks with no hassle at all.
5. Pricing Policy
Webflow is free for everyone. The system allows building websites, controlling each stage of the process with no trial period or extra payments at all. To publish a ready made website, though, you will need to pay for hosting depending upon the number of websites you are going to launch with the service.
|Free:||$0/mo||✓ 2 Projects;|
✓ Client Billing.
|Lite:||$15/mo||In Addition to previous:|
✓ 10 projects;
✓ Code Export.
|Pro:||$35/mo||In Addition to previous:|
✓ Unlimited hosted projects;
✓ White label.
|Team:||$35/user||In Addition to previous:|
✓ Password Protection;
✓ Team Dashboard.
Whether you need one website, multiple sites or are a part of a team focusing on the development of client websites, you will be offered several packages to choose from with regard to your needs, requirements and budget.
Webflow works great for professionals, but it’s somewhat complicated for non-tech-savvy users, who wish to create one or several websites for personal or business use. Unfortunately, Webflow currently lacks the in-built functionality required to create multilingual websites. Addition of this feature could notably boost system popularity among people, who wish to use the websites created with the system for foreign partnership. This is one of the desirable features for all the systems offering web building services.
7. Comparison with Сompetitors
There aren’t many competitors for a service like this. The closest rivals are Adobe Muse and Webydo. But we also compared the editor with some of the most popular website creation options for you to see the differentiating factors.
Webflow is a website builder belonging to the contemporary generation of visual, code-free web building tools. The system comes with a full set of web design features, the smart use of which should result in the creation of full-fledged websites. The system is primarily meant for professional web designers, who deal with the development of client projects and it may seem complicated for inexperienced users.
However, it’s not quite hard to master the system and each user willing to launch a static responsive website can cope with the task pretty well. Those, who manage to do that, will enjoy working with the system, using its unlimited benefits to create unique websites for personal and business use.