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Webflow: My new Favorite Web CMS builder

Webflow is a special CMS. It allows creating websites without deep knowledge in code, like Wix, Shopify or Weebly. But unlike its competitors, Webflow is primarily for web designers. The great strength of Webflow, in addition to its intuitive interface, is that it allows creating sites with ultra-personalized design.

 

webflow homepage

 

# Webflow Features

  • Optimized for search engines
  • Optimized display on mobile
  • Suitable for e-commerce
  • Template adapted by sector/profession

 

Today, most CMS focus on ease of use. Each time, the idea is to be able to create your website easily and quickly, starting from blocks of prefabricated content that only needs to be customized. A bit like a LEGO game. Webflow, which is SaaS Cloud software, is a bit more sophisticated.

Because of its great functional richness, especially with regard to the personalization of the design, Webflow is not addressed perhaps to the “big-beginners”. The target of this CMS is the web designers or more generally all the people who want to create a website by having total control on the aspects of design – without being ace of the code for all that. This aspect of Webflow brings him closer to a CMS like Webydo. Webflow has been adopted so far by tens of thousands of users – demanding individuals, freelancers, web designers, agencies, startups. More than 500,000 sites have been created from this publisher. Webflow counts among its customers’ large accounts like Groupon, Hewlett-Packard, Pinterest, MTV, IBM …

 

The Webflow editing interface is a mix of a classic Wix and Photoshop interface. We find the very intuitive side: the interface is WYSIWYG, you can change any element of content on your page by clicking on it with the mouse. But beside that, Webflow offers very advanced features for customizing styles, fonts, formats, colors, etc. All without the need to touch a line of code, even if it is possible to freely integrate code. Traditionally, web designers have been designing the site for their clients using software such as Illustrator or Photoshop and then outsourcing the production of the site (from its code) to a developer. With Webflow, web designers can create the design of the site and its code at the same time, that is to say, control all stages of production of the site. This is the big highlight, the added value of Webflow: Design without Code. Webflow allows you to create websites with a pixel-controlled design.

Now that the presentations are done, let’s get into the details. To use Webflow, you must first create an account (name, first name, email, password). We will return below on the different offers and package prices. Once you have created your account, the first step is to choose a design for your website. You have three options: from scratch (white canva), a structure (framework) or choose a template ready for use. Webflow offers more than 150 templates, covering all topics and all needs.

 

webflow templates

 

The templates are all globally of high quality, classes and well finished. They are all responsive. Templates are sorted by category: Business, Portfolio, Event, Blog, etc.  If you choose the free Webflow formula, only about 30 templates are free. The others can be bought individually. In paid forms, premium templates are freely available (free).

Of course, all templates are customizable at a high level. You will be able to modify all the design elements, the blocks, their content, their location, etc.

Once you have chosen your template, you are automatically redirected to the editing interface. This allows you to edit the smallest aspects of your site, to create new pages, to build the site tree, to preview the rendering, to publish the pages and to export the code (menu on the left). Indeed, if you choose a paid package, you can at any time export the code of your site – which allows publishing the site on another host. In the right menu, you can customize the content and style of all elements of your site. The contents of the options offered in this menu vary depending on the item you want to edit. You will appreciate the high level of customization of the design. This is where we find the Photoshop side of Webflow.

Regarding typography for example, not only do you have access to a very large choice of fonts but in addition to this Webflow allows you to load Google Fonts, Adobe TypeKit Fonts or even custom fonts.

editor

 

You can, from the top menu, view your site on different screen sizes. You can change the mobile version of each of your pages to optimize the display. If the changes made on the desktop version are transcribed automatically on mobile versions, this is not true in the other direction. Which is very convenient. This allows you to customize the mobile version without impacting the desktop version.

 

Webflow offers dozens of tutorials accessible from the editing interface to help you get started with the software. Because of the interface is globally very intuitive, the functional richness of Webflow nevertheless implies a certain time of adaptation and handling. There is a real learning curve. All the tutorials, like the interface besides, are in English. You can, from the menu on the left, add all types of content on your site:

Once you have selected an item, you just have to drag and drop it on the page at the location of your choice using the mouse. For each item you add to your page, you can decide whether to show it on mobile versions of your site. This is very practical and once again demonstrates Webflow’s concern for responsive issues. Also note that you can at any time go back, making an undo. Webflow also generates automatic backups of your site. You can also save your site at any time by pressing Ctrl + Shift + S.

Let’s linger for a moment on the features of blogging. Webflow can very well be used to create blogs. You have two options: from a template “blog” or add a part “blog” on your company site, event, etc. Webflow allows you to manage authors, categorize articles, embed tags in your articles. You can embed images or videos inside your posts, generate an RSS feed and even integrate a “Related Posts” module.

blog webflow

 

Three final points to complete this review of Webflow features:

  • The SEO: Webflow allows you to customize, for each page, the Title tag and the Meta Description. It is not possible to customize the URL. You can also, for each image, fill in the ALT tag. Webflow automatically generates the sitemap for the site. The code, from what we could see, is very clean, which has a positive impact on SEO. In the same way, the loading time of the pages is globally very short. Webflow allows creating “SEO-friendly” websites.

seo

  • Third-party applications. This is the weak point of Webflow. There are very few possible integrations with third-party tools. You can add a Google Maps, connect your site to Google Analytics, and add links to your social networks. That is just about everything…
  • Pages 404. Webflow allows you to customize your 404 page, that is to say, the page on which the user is redirected when he tries to access a page that does not exist or more. Few CMS offer this possibility.

Let’s end with a review of the main advantages and disadvantages of the Webflow platform. The benefits of starting:

  • Ultra-sophisticated design customization, which controls the site’s appearance to the nearest pixel without the need to touch a single line of code.
  • The ability to export site code on other platforms.
  • The ability to use custom fonts.
  • The richness of the editing interface.
  • The quality of the templates.

The inconvenient:

  • The interface is relatively complex, because very rich from a functional point of view. Webflow is clearly aimed at “pros” (web designers, agencies, startups …).
  • The very limited possibilities of integration with third-party tools.
  • Webflow is relatively expensive for those with simple needs.

If you want to create sites with a very personalized design and you are used to using tools like Photoshop or Illustrator, Webflow is surely the software that you need. If you are a beginner and have “normal” design requirements, we recommend more accessible solutions like WordPress, although you still need to have good knowledge.

 

What about E-commerce with Webflow?

Your brand is unique. Your store should be too.

You can also design e-commerce with Webflow. Going very deep into customization.

Design, sell and scale your online business with Webflow Ecommerce, the first e-commerce platform that gives you control over everything. From home page to product page, cart to checkout. Shape your customer’s experience every step of the way, and build a modern e-commerce website — all without writing a single line of code.

webflow

 

 

 

So here is all you can do:

Let your customers pay — their way

Accept payments via credit card, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. Security and fraud protection powered by Stripe.

  • Secure payments powered by Stripe
  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay
  • PayPal coming soon

Update products and inventory

Add new products and categories, update existing ones, set sale prices, and manage inventory.

  • Custom product fields
  • Sell products with variants
  • List sale prices
  • Create coupons and promotions coming soon
  • Sell digital products coming soon

Choose where — and how — you ship

Customize shipping regions and rules, tax settings, and update business details.

  • Define shipping regions and rules
  • Print shipping labels (via Zapier)
  • Automatic real-time shipping rates coming soon

Stay on top of orders

View order details, update order status and issue refunds.

  • Client-friendly order management dashboard
  • Customer accounts and order history coming soon

Put taxes on autopilot

Automatically calculate sales tax and VAT for customers in the United States, Canada, the European Union, and Australia.

Extend your store with Zapier

Connect your store with hundreds of apps on Zapier to automate shipping label creation, accounting, and other operational chores.

  • Track fulfillment with ShipStation
  • Send order details to QuickBooks
  • Get a text when new orders come in
  • Collect customer emails in MailChimp

 

Webflow Offers & Prices

Webflow offers three sets of “plans”:
Three offers for individuals or companies who want to create a site for themselves (Hosting Plans).
Three offers for professionals (web designers, freelancers) who want to use Webflow to create websites for their clients (Designer Plans).
An offer for agencies and teams, who want to create collaborative sites (Team Plans).
Here are the three Hosting Plans offers:

 

All list of features included here.

As for me, I am seriously thinking to move all my website from WordPress to Webflow now and start working almost only on it.

If you are like me I would like to share with you this article to migrate your site.

 

 

 

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