Website builders have come a long way since the early days of the internet.
Gone are the days of relying on clunky HTML editors and spending countless hours trying to get your website to look the way you want it.
New sleek no-code website builders like Webflow are making it easier than ever to create stunning websites quickly and easily, without any coding knowledge or experience.
But is Webflow right for you? Does it meet your needs? Is it easy to learn?
In this comprehensive review of Webflow, we will answer these questions and a whole lot more. Stay tuned!
What is Webflow?
Webflow is a powerful no-code website builder which means you don't need to learn to code to build beautiful websites. You build your site using an intuitive drag-and-drop interface which allows you to add components like text, images, buttons, videos, links and more. Webflow also offers more advanced features such as ecommerce functionality, a content management system (CMS), memberships, custom animations and a whole lot more to give you even more power to create websites that look and feel really professionally.
Webflow offers a range of features that make it easy to create stunning websites quickly and easily. Here are some of the key features you'll find in Webflow:
The Webflow Designer
The Webflow Designer is the space you will spend most of your time designing your website. Although it does offer a drag-and-drop interface, a sound knowledge of web design principles is recommended if you're looking to get the most out of the product.
The Designer allows you to add style to your components through a class naming system. For example, I can give a button a class name of 'Primary Button' and change it's color to red.
You can even add global swatches for key colors .This means every time you update a color swatch the changes occur throughout the website.
In the Designer you can use either Flexbox or CSS grid-powered layouts to visually build out sections of your site.
Webflow sites are responsive by default, however the Designer still allows you to have more granular control of how components are displayed on different screen sizes from large desktops to smaller phone devices.
Content management system (CMS)
The Webflow CMS allows you to store and manage your content online. This means you can easily create, edit, delete or update website content without needing to code or know HTML.
For example, if you're creating a blog with Webflow then the CMS will allow you to easily add new posts and manage them in one centralised location.
Webflow's free plan offers 50 CMS items, however if you're looking for items, the CMS plan at $23 USD per month offers 2,000 CMS items.
Webflow 's SEO allow you to add meta tags and titles to your pages, which is important for improving the search engine visibility of your website. It also automatically generates a sitemap for you which is handy and you have control over 301 redirects.
Webflow has over 1,500 templates to choose from for your website. These range from blank templates to full ecommerce sites with all the necessary pages set up and ready to go.
The templates are also fully customisable so you can change colours, fonts, add extra sections and more.
There are free templates available, however premium templates range in price from $24 USD to $149 USD. These are one-off prices and can be worth considering if you find one you like as it will save you time building a new site from scratch.
The Webflow marketplace is a new beta feature with access to custom libraries and third party apps. Libraries are pre-built layouts and systems crafted by Webflow creators to help you speed up your design process.The apps marketplace offers third party apps that offer features not natively available through Webflow. This include apps such as ecommerce upsells, CMS filters, automations and a whole lot more. It's still early days however the marketplace seems like it will grow larger over time.
Webflow offer ecommerce capabilities through the platform. This means you can build an online store with Webflow. Some of the key ecommerce features we noted include:
- CMS product pages
- Custom checkout pages
- Add-to-cart functionality
- Transactional emails
- Customized shipping
- Accept payments through Stripe and PayPal
- Order tracking system
If you're running a small online store then Webflow's ecommerce features should be enough for you. However, if you're running a more advanced operation, you may want to consider Shopify which has a larger set of advanced features for ecommerce.
Webflow memberships is currently a beta feature which allows you to gate content and build member portals. Memberships allow you to create subscription tiers and gate access to specific content like a course to only paying customers. It's still early, but this is a useful feature of those looking to create online communities or sell courses.
Webflow offers a number of native integrations. These include Google Analytics, Google Optimize, MailChimp and Google Optimize. You can even buy a domain directly from your Webflow dashboard via Google Domains. Webflow also offers Zapier integrations with a wider range of apps like Slack, Asana and more.
Hosting & Security
Webflow provides hosting for your website and ensures it is secure with multiple layers of security. This includes regular backups, password protection for pages, staging and production databases, custom domain name and a whole lot more.
Webflow offers a robust library of helpful resources through the Webflow University. The video tutorials on offer range from basic introductions to the Designer all the way to more advanced designs. It's worth spending time watching a few tutorials if you are using Webflow for the first time as it can really help you get accustomed with the tool.
Webflow also offers a community forum if you have encounter any problems as you begin to use the tool. Webflow doesn't offer a phone or live chat service, however you can email their support team and they will get back to you.
Webflow's pricing plans can seem expensive at first, however when you factor in the time you saved and level of design control the tools offers, you realise that the pricing is reasonable.
Webflow offers a Free plan if you're looking to try the product for a smaller project. The Free plan offer doesn't offer a custom domain, but is rather hosted on a subdomain (webflow.io).
The cheapest paid plan is the Basic plan which is $18 USD per month and offers you 500 monthly form submissions, however you don't receive access to the CMS.
The CMS plan at $29 USD per month is the most popular plan and offers you 2,000 CMS items, 1,000 form submissions per month and access to 3 content editors.
If your website is getting a lot of traffic, you might want to upgrade to the Business plan for $49 USD per month which gives you access to 10,000 CMS items, 2,500 monthly form submissions and 10 content editors.
If you're a large enterprise, you can contact Webflow's sales team directly to discuss enterprise pricing.
Workspaces let you store your site projects in one place. This is useful for agencies or freelancer who may be looking after multiple sites. Webflow offers a number of plans for workspaces. These include:
- A Free plan with 1 seat and 2 unhosted sites
- A Core plan at $28 USD per seat per month for 3 seats, 10 unhosted site, custom code and code export features
- A Growth plan at $60 USD per seat per month for 9 seats, unlimited unhosted sites, custom code, code export and publishing permission features.
- An Enterprise plan which requires you to contact the Webflow sales team, but includes features such as advanced security and page branching.
Webflow pros and cons
- Sophisticated level of design customization and control
- Over 1,500 templates available
- Excellent support for beginners through Webflow University
- Steeper learning curve for beginners compared to some other website builders
- Price may be too expensive for smaller projects
- Limited ecommerce features for larger stores
Overall, Webflow is an excellent website builder and CMS for people who want a greater level of design control than some other website builders can offer. The visual builder and vast library of templates make it easy to design your site without much effort. Webflow might be a bit pricey for small projects but if you need a powerful website, then it could be worth the investment.