Welcome to this comprehensive guide on Webflow. Whether you are a beginner, a designer, a developer, or a marketer, you will learn the nuts and bolts of Webflow and how it can help you create stunning websites without writing a single line of code.
Over time, Webflow has evolved, amassing an impressive range of features and integrations with third-party tools. While it may not be the ideal solution for every scenario, it's increasingly challenging to find a web-based project that Webflow can't handle. The platform's capabilities are ever-expanding, opening up almost limitless possibilities for your online presence.
But what if you're a complete beginner in the world of coding? Fret not. Webflow is designed to be welcoming even for those who might not know their HTML from their CSS. Here's why you should not be intimidated:
As you drag-and-drop and style your website elements, you're essentially learning the basics of HTML and CSS, often without even realizing it. Webflow provides a safe space for you to understand web development while keeping your focus on the visual and interactive aspects of your site.
If you hit a snag or want to dive deeper, Webflow University stands as one of the most comprehensive and free online resources for web design and development. From beginner tutorials to advanced guides, it's a treasure trove of knowledge, ready to help you at every step of your Webflow journey.
So, whether you're a seasoned coder or a complete newbie, Webflow offers a platform where you can build, experiment, and grow. It makes the transition from 'designer' to 'developer' not only possible but incredibly enriching.
When you first dive into the Webflow Designer, you may think you've landed in a specialized web design platform—and you have, but with a twist. Although called a 'Designer,' the tool is essentially a sophisticated code editor with an intuitive user interface that might remind you of popular design software like Photoshop or After Effects.
Don't let the sleek UI fool you; the Webflow Designer is deeply rooted in coding principles. It merges the best of both worlds, giving you a powerhouse code editor with the convenience of a visual design tool. This unique blend can pose a challenge for those not familiar with the core concepts of web development, but it also opens the door to a host of new possibilities.
Enter the era of the "DEVsigner"—a hybrid role that allows you to design in code without needing a separate front-end developer to bring your vision to life. What does this mean for you? You can visualize, interact with, and even publish your site without toggling between different tools or specialists. In essence, it streamlines the entire website creation process from design to deployment.
If you're someone who prefers laying out designs in Figma before jumping into development, worry not. The Figma to Webflow plugin lets you effortlessly convert your Figma drafts into functional Webflow sites. While there are some limitations—as with any automated tool—it can be a fantastic bridge between your design and development phases.
In the ever-expanding ecosystem of Webflow, numerous development agencies and freelancers specialize in transmuting Figma designs into Webflow websites. We'll explore more about these professionals later, but for now, it's clear: the Webflow Designer offers an unparalleled range of possibilities, whether you're a designer, a developer, or a bit of both.
The Webflow Editor shines particularly brightly when put in the hands of those less versed in the technical aspects of web development—think business owners, marketers, or team members without a coding background.
While the Webflow Designer caters to those who dwell in the complexities of design and code, the Webflow Editor is likely the most intuitive platform for those who don’t want to get into the technical weeds. It offers an easy-to-navigate interface where you can not only edit existing elements but also add new pages, tweak your site's SEO metadata, and interact with your CMS—all without the need for prior coding or design experience.
One of the standout features is the option to quickly edit your website’s content directly from the front end. Simply pressing the “Edit” button on any URL of your Webflow site will turn it into an editable version, allowing you to change text, images, or links instantaneously.
The most appealing factor? You can make these straightforward adjustments to your Webflow site without having to go through a developer or designer. It’s as simple as clicking what you want to change, making your edits, and then hitting the publish button. Your updates go live instantly, putting the power of web management directly in your hands.
If you thought Webflow's design capabilities were impressive, wait until you delve into its Content Management System (CMS). The Webflow CMS is a cornerstone of the platform, offering a wide range of customization options for users, whether you're operating from the Webflow Designer or the Webflow Editor.
At its core, a CMS allows you to easily manipulate and update the content on your website without needing technical skills. In the context of Webflow, the Designer lets you construct and customize the data architecture (your CMS), while the Editor permits you to utilize and modify what's already been built.
Think of Webflow's CMS Collections as dynamic templates for various types of content—each with a unique URL. These could be anything from articles, blog categories, and service offerings, to products, team profiles, and job openings. Essentially, a CMS Collection serves as a mold, allowing you to pour in different content while maintaining a consistent design.
What sets Webflow apart from other CMS platforms is the ability to interlink CMS Collections. While it might sound trivial, this feature adds a layer of customization that's unparalleled. Because you can create your own fields and connect them across different collections, the Webflow CMS becomes an incredibly powerful tool for complex, interconnected web projects.
In Webflow, a CMS Collection Template is essentially your preset design for a specific content type, like blog posts. Once you set up this template, each new post you add will automatically follow the same design layout, though the content and URLs will be unique. This offers you a dynamic, consistent look across similar types of content.
Not to be overlooked, Webflow offers additional features that extend the platform's capabilities substantially. You can implement logical operations, offer your website in multiple languages, develop React apps, and more—all natively within Webflow.
And that's just scratching the surface. The platform opens up a world of possibilities when integrated with third-party tools. So, know there's much more to Webflow than meets the eye.
Webflow is a versatile tool capable of creating almost any type of website. However, it shines brightest when it comes to marketing websites. This isn't because it falls short in other areas but because early enthusiasts of Webflow primarily consisted of:
These user groups found Webflow's strong suits—like tailored design, user interface flexibility, quick turnarounds, easy edits, and a marketer-friendly CMS—ideal for their needs.
Webflow offers a robust platform to elevate your search engine optimization game. The platform produces clean, streamlined code that naturally complements SEO efforts. Coupled with its intuitive content control, Webflow makes it easier to align with search engine algorithms, helping websites achieve higher rankings more rapidly.
Essential SEO necessities like title tags, meta descriptions, automated sitemap updates, 301 redirects, and robots.txt are all integrated into the platform. The control Webflow gives you over your site's structure and content means you can efficiently tailor different content types with unique designs for each search intent and do that at scale through the CMS.
What's more, integrating Google Analytics, Tags, or Search Console with your Webflow site can be completed in mere seconds.
Webflow doesn't just offer robust hosting; it utilizes cutting-edge, AWS-backed technologies that include HTTP/2 (SSL), a global CDN, advanced DDoS protection, and continuously available servers. When it comes to Core Web Vitals like LCP, FCP, INP, and CLS, Webflow sites boast lean, easily indexable code, ensuring outstanding performance and reliability.
For those who find the technical jargon a bit dense, here's the takeaway: Webflow delivers exceptional website speed and performance through state-of-the-art technologies, making it an excellent choice.
While Webflow excels in many areas, its e-commerce capabilities do have some limitations. What it lacks in specialized e-commerce features, it makes up for with unparalleled design flexibility and a rich user experience that most other e-commerce platforms can't match
In terms of payment options, Webflow supports both Stripe and PayPal. This allows you to process transactions from a wide range of countries and accept multiple types of credit cards. However, it's advisable to confirm whether these payment methods align with your target market before committing to Webflow for e-commerce.
If your focus is on selling digital goods like online courses, ebooks, or templates, Webflow stands out as an excellent choice. It allows you to automate emails for customers, providing them with download links for their purchases. The platform's flexibility means you're not confined to a template, giving you free rein over the user experience you offer.
For businesses selling tangible products that require shipping, Webflow offers a reasonable but not perfect set of solutions. The platform's strong SEO and design capabilities, coupled with its integrated email marketing and payment options, make it a viable choice for budding online retailers.
That said, when pitted against platforms built exclusively for e-commerce, like Shopify, Webflow can come up short in some specialized e-commerce features. The good news is you can bridge this gap by linking Webflow with Shopify through apps like Shopyflow.
In a nutshell, while Webflow excels for digital sales platforms, it may not be the go-to solution for certain types of physical product stores.
Understanding Webflow's pricing can be daunting, particularly for newcomers. Yet, as you spend more time with the platform, its plans, and associated costs become clearer. Let's break down the essential details you need to know about Webflow's pricing options.
First, it's important to distinguish between two types of pricing: Website Pricing and Workspace Pricing.
Website pricing covers the costs for using Webflow to design, publish, and host a website on your custom domain. It includes all the features specific to that one website. Costs can vary depending on where you're located, and yearly plans generally offer some savings compared to monthly payments.
Remember, the cost isn't just for the platform; it also includes hosting and many features that would require additional expenses on other platforms.
If you're diving into e-commerce, Webflow offers a few different tiers:
When compared with Shopify, Webflow's e-commerce plans are generally more affordable.
Workspace pricing is geared towards freelancers, agencies, or businesses managing multiple websites. The costs can range from $28 to $60 per seat each month, depending on your feature requirements.
This pricing category may not be relevant to everyone, but for those who do need it, the cost is generally justified by the value provided.
So while Webflow's pricing might initially seem complex, the flexibility and feature set included often make it a worthwhile investment.
If you're starting out or on a budget, Webflow provides an assortment of website templates that are both free and paid, catering to various business sectors. The real advantage of using Webflow is the unparalleled control you have over the code and content, allowing you to tailor any template to fit your specific needs.
Additionally, Webflow's community has created various libraries featuring pre-designed site sections. These libraries can be a valuable resource, as you can simply drag and drop these elements into your own project, significantly accelerating the development process. Best of all, these community-built libraries are typically free to use, making them a cost-effective way to enhance your Webflow site.
And for those who want to extend their website's capabilities, numerous apps easily integrate with Webflow. It's a one-stop-shop for all your Webflow needs.
Webflow's open-ended structure allows for easy integration of almost any external tool with minimal fuss. Simply add a line of code, hit 'publish,' and the tool becomes part of your site's ecosystem.
For more intricate integration scenarios that demand specialized expertise, hiring a Webflow Expert can be a smart move.
Choosing the right expert is key—especially if they're not specialized in Webflow, which could lead to complications.
If you're looking for a full-service solution, Rimbo Designs specializes in comprehensive Webflow projects, offering seamless design, development, and marketing integration. Discover how we can help you.
Webflow doesn't just serve as an excellent alternative to WordPress; it also outshines a multitude of other website builders available in the market. Let's delve into the advantages and drawbacks of Webflow compared to other prevalent website builders.
The Shopify comparison is perhaps the most straightforward. Shopify excels in one specific area—e-commerce for physical products. Webflow is gaining traction in the e-commerce sector but has yet to match Shopify's specialized offerings. However, you can harness the strengths of both platforms by integrating Webflow for your site design and Shopify for your online store.
While WordPress is open-source and initially free, the costs can rack up when you add plugins, hosting, and other services required to match Webflow's features. WordPress often leans on plugins for design and functionality, leading to a less custom experience and potential complications with code integrity and site performance. In summary, Webflow focuses on helping your website grow, whereas WordPress can often feel like an ongoing repair project.
Learn more in my in-depth Webflow vs. WordPress comparison.
Wix and Webflow cater to different audiences. Wix is designed for those without technical skills, providing a quick and template-based approach. While Wix might be convenient for a small-scale site that doesn't aim to generate revenue, Webflow comes into its own for businesses that need to rank in search engines and drive conversions. The choice between Webflow and Wix often boils down to your specific needs, level of technical skill, and business objectives.
Squarespace and Webflow are fundamentally different in their focus. Squarespace aims for user-friendliness for the non-tech-savvy, which makes it difficult to directly compare with Webflow's more robust feature set. If you're looking for a minimalistic site to show off to friends, Squarespace is sufficient. However, for businesses with growth ambitions, Webflow is the platform to consider.
Framer has been making waves in the design community with its user-friendly, design-focused approach. If you're already familiar with platforms like Figma or Sketch, you'll find Framer's workflow strikingly similar and easy to pick up—making it a perfect starting point for those new to web development. However, if you've spent time mastering Webflow's extensive capabilities, switching to Framer might feel limiting. For those already well-versed in Figma and looking to build a straightforward portfolio site, Framer is a solid choice. But when your ambitions escalate to creating more complex, feature-rich websites, Webflow is the platform you'll want to stick with for its advanced functionalities and greater creative freedom.
Your decision between these platforms ultimately hinges on your business needs, technical acumen, and long-term goals. Choose wisely.
Migrating to your current site to Webflow is not as hard as it seem when you know how to do it. Here is my migration guide if you want to learn more.
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