Everything you need to know about Webflow

22 minutes
Ellen Flannery
Table of contents

What is Webflow?

Created in 2013, Webflow is a website building tool and hosting platform. The online tool has impressed coders, web designers, and beginners alike. Holding the ability to design visually, customise code, host sites, and stand as a traditional CMS (Content management system). Webflow is a robust platform with much to offer.

What is Webflow used for?

Webflow is used for a variety of website types, features, and pages such as Landing pages, E-commerce sites, blogs, b2b websites. Webflow is also a CMS (content management system) and used as a hosting platform.  

Why do people use Webflow?  

  • Webflow gives you the opportunity to edit your website without a developer. This means you do not need to worry about being an expert in web design, as the process is streamlined for you.
  • You can manipulate content directly on the page including text and images.
  • Any employee in your organisation can log in and make changes, and you can control what employees can edit.
  • It's fast, relatively easy to learn, and easy to use.
  • The Webflow university and forums have lots of resources for those starting out; Webflow is built for those new to website design.
person using laptop

Do you need to know how to code to use Webflow?

The answer is: no.  

Webflow does not require you to be code savvy, but unlike its competitors, offers custom code freedom for those who know how. This makes Webflow an equally great option for both those new to web design, and those with a bit more experience.

Webflow is a CMS offering full visual web design, but it can be recommended you find a Webflow web designer with coding experience if you have specific features in mind. A great thing about Webflow is that after outsourcing a project to a designer to create your site, unlike other website builders, you don’t need to return to your developers for minor changes as you can make adjustments yourself.  

What programming language does Webflow use?

When designing, Webflow creates code using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, which are used across the internet to create all of the pages we interact with Webflow creates all of the code automatically as you design using the visual editor, meaning that no code needs to be edited directly, and that syntax errors and bugs are all avoided.  

HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is used to generate the content of a page – all of the Titles, paragraphs, buttons, and links on a page. This is what you change as you add elements and text to your website in the visual designer. Whereas CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) defines how all of these elements will look when they are loaded, including sizes, fonts, colour, and much more. This is handled by the style panel in the Webflow editor.  

JavaScript adds functionality and interactivity to a site, from simple functions like dropdown menus, or image sliders, to more complicated elements like 3D animation effects. Webflow’s component library uses JavaScript to make your website work for users, making it easy and quick to build an interactive and unique website using Webflow.  

Additionally, using the Webflow code editor, experienced designers can draw upon JavaScript libraries to add custom elements to a website. The ability to add these elements directly into the code means that Webflow designers will never be restricted by the platform itself, and makes it incredibly adaptable for experienced web design teams. In short, Webflow offers you all the flexibility you need to build an eye-catching website.

Is Webflow’s code clean?  

Webflow is a brilliant way to create websites with exceptionally clean code, without needing to spend hours learning programming languages. Webflow automatically creates HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for your website, using best practices for Search Engine Optimisation and accessibility. And it does all this, without you having to write any code. The no-code system means you can focus on creating a website that you and your customers will love, without worrying about the programming behind it.  

However, this doesn’t mean you can’t get involved in the syntax if you know what you’re doing. For those of us who’ve printed their fair share of ‘hello worlds’, Webflow enables you to edit code in the <head> tag and before the </body> tag of your website, or on individual pages. Additionally, you can export your entire site’s code directly to a zip file, with your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, ready to be uploaded to a domain, if you choose not to use Webflow’s in-built domain publishing tool.  

To sum up, Webflow creates clean, professional code, using web best practices, automatically at the touch of a button, and it allows you to get into the nitty-gritty of code editing using the custom code options, and the code export feature. It’s a win-win for no-code developers, and experienced programmers alike.

person-using-laptop.jpg

Is it free? Webflow pricing explained.

Webflow pricing ranges from $12 to $212 (£8.67 to £153.23) per month. Offering a build for free, pay when live option. This makes Webflow an incredibly cost-effective option, as you only pay when you have a website that you are completely satisfied with.

The pricing varies depending on what hosting capabilities you require.

Is Webflow a CMS?

Yes. CMS stands for Content Management System, which is essentially a database and software that helps you to build a website. Webflow is known to be one of the most customisable Content Management Systems online.  

Why people choose Webflow’s CMS:  

  • Users can create, edit, update and publish.
  • Allows multiple users at the same time.
  • No coding knowledge is needed.
  • Effective in costs.
  • Advanced SEO Tools and Plugins.
  • Easy to learn through the visual design tool.
  • Can improve your site's rank in major search engines, such as Google.
  • The security offered is tested regularly.
  • Businesses can instantly make these changes without a developer.
  • Visual elements can be changed with no coding.
  • Store all of your web content in a single place.  
person using laptop

Can Webflow be used for Ecommerce?

Online retailers wanting to sell and organize products through their websites can do so with Webflow’s e-commerce features.  

Often compared to Shopify, many people overlook the Shopify Integration that Webflow offers. Meaning people can have a high functioning and attractive website built on Webflow whilst embedding the Shopify widget. In addition, if you already have a Shopify page, you will have no trouble converting this over to Webflow.

Reasons why Webflow e-commerce is often chosen by online retailers:  

  • The Webflow e-commerce feature allows the use of pre-made templates or the defaut route of customising your store how you wish.
  • Can integrate with other services such as Zapier.
  • Ecommerce defaults allow you to start making sales more quickly - e.g Local tax rates are automatically applied.
  • Automate receipt emails / connection to Mailchimp for an email marketing campaigns.
  • Integrates with Google Analytics for e-commerce tracking, making it easy to track online traffic and identify areas for improvement.

Why use Webflow for SEO

Search engine optimisation, or commonly known as SEO is of key importance for a website. Webflow can be good for SEO, it has numerous features that help a website to have better search engine ranking.

So, why is Webflow a great option in regards to SEO?  

  • Prioritising clean code, search engine crawlers can scan understand the website's content easily. Allowing search engines, like Google, to rank pages appropriately.
  • Integration with Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
  • The available design features help get a ‘mobile friendly’ tag in the search.
  • The feature support from Webflow makes SEO easier, meaning increased Engagement, Traffic, and Conversions for your website.  
person using laptop

Webflow Hosting Explained

Webflow is an inexpensive, fast, hosting platform offering a reasonable amount of features, such as:  

  • Automatic backups and version control.
  • Published files, when live, can be seen immediately from almost any location at any time.  

“Webflow-using businesses like Kisi grow their organic traffic by over 300%, while also supporting thousands of requests per second for businesses like Eventbrite” ~ Webflow

  • Integrating with other platforms such as Shopify, Soundcloud and Eventbrite, or anything using custom code embeds.
  • Webflow uses its own hosting for its website.  

“Webflow hosts several sites that get over a million page views a month without a hitch!”  ~ Webflow

Is Webflow hosting fast?  

Webflow’s sites are optimised for HTTP/2 out of the box, meaning that they load as fast as possible across the web. Webflow’s site plans can handle up to 500,000 visitors per month, or even more if you sign up to the Webflow enterprise plan – designed for large international businesses. This makes Webflow the perfect option for small or medium-sized online businesses. Using a content delivery network, with upwards of 400GB of bandwidth, Webflow is equipped to provide fast and effective hosting for any site.

On top of this, Webflow’s design tool is built to ensure that your website is optimised for fast load times, and can highlight bugs, or suggest changes to your site that will improve load times easily – making sure you can get the best speed out of your site easily. In a world where people are increasingly strapped for time, Webflow is well-suited to providing the speed and efficiency people want when browsi

How much storage does Webflow hosting offer?

Webflow’s hosting service can store up to 100 unique static pages on your website, and its Content Management System can automatically generate up to 500,000 pages of content based on CMS information. This makes Webflow an ideal, no-code, solution for blogs, online stores, and businesses with lots of products and services. Making use of Webflow’s servers, you can purchase a custom domain name, and publish your entire site to the web at the click of a button, without worrying about setting up external hosting, or paying for server hosting with a third-party service.    

Webflow vs WordPress: Which is better Webflow or WordPress?

WordPress is a popular free Web building platform, originally set up by volunteers in 2003, the open-source is actually older than Twitter and Facebook. So how does Webflow compare with its popular competition?  

Webflow

  • Design freedom: Start with a blank canvas or one of over 100 templates and customise everything visually.
  • Code quality: Webflow outputs code that's as clean and semantic as you can make it.
  • SEO: Fully customisable SEO settings that are easy to setup. Webflow sites are built for the modern internet and search engines gives you extra points for mobile friendly design and performance.
  • Site security: Free SSL on all sites, backed by constant threat monitoring.
  • User-friendliness of CMS: Simple on-page editing, minimal dashboard UI.
  • Support: Regularly cited as one of the best features of Webflow. Also has great tutorials videos with their online ‘Webflow University'.  
  • Collaboration: Client billing built right in, easy collaboration between design and content.
  • Price: Webflow offers a limited free version that allows you to make your website and view it before going live and paying.  
  • Mobile: no app, but does support designing for different devices and automatically adapts websites for mobile.

Wordpress

  • Design freedom: Unless you're a coder, you'll need a visual design plugin, or be restricted by available templates.
  • Code quality: WordPress code is notoriously bloated due to its reliance on plugins.
  • SEO: Easily customisable—as long as you're using a plugin. And if you know how to configure it.
  • Site security: Also offers free SSL, but WP sites are known for their security vulnerabilities when not properly maintained.
  • User-friendliness of CMS: The WordPress dashboard provides lots of options that are irrelevant to most clients, and lacks on-page editing.
  • Support: Mostly community-driven, so it can take time to get help.
  • Collaboration: Great built-in editorial collaboration, but no native billing support.
  • Mobile: Available on App store and automatically adapts websites for mobile.
  • Price: Free / open-source software  

In Conclusion, both tools are popular with many so it is not a case of which is better, but more about the type of website experience you are looking for. WordPress offers a free service that is relatively simple to use, with a variety of features and options. However, Webflow may be better for those who are completely new to website-building; the Webflow University is an example of this. In comparison, WordPress support is largely community-driven – making it likelier for you to face issues when encountering an area that you are not familiar with. WordPress does, however, automatically adapt websites for mobile browsing which can be helpful depending on your needs.

wordpress tab open on screen
Wordpress.com

Webflow vs Squarespace: Is Webflow better than Squarespace?

Now the first question is, is Webflow more expensive than Squarespace?  

Webflow is generally more expensive but shows the value for money due to its customisability, in comparison to Squarespace which is entirely template-based.  

Both sites offer the opportunity to create a website without extensive knowledge in coding and web design, but there are key differences between both web development platforms.  

So, what are the other differences?  

  • Webflow has more customisation options while Squarespace is more template-based with limited opportunity to customise or make changes, templates rely heavily on images.  
  • Squarespace is very inflexible with design changes and ‘tweaking’.    
  • Squarespace loading times are slower than average.
  • Webflow has over 180 paid themes available while Squarespace has 90 free design templates with the option to purchase custom templates.  
  • Squarespace doesn't have as many features and integrations as Webflow.  
  • Webflow e-commerce requires no coding and puts you in charge of the web store creation process.  

Webflow and Squarespace are once again very popular choices for businesses. Squarespace is great for businesses that need simple functions and basic designs and features. With users being restricted to their chosen template, yet easy, affordable, and smart appearance Squarespace can be great for first-time websites.  

If you need a high functioning website, with specific pages, features and more, Webflow can be the step-up businesses need. The greater customisability of Webflow may make it better suited for those seeking more flexibility. Also, if panicked by the fear of coding, there are official ‘Webflow Professional Partners’ taking commissions of all shapes and sizes to adjust your site to the way you want it.    

squarespace site on PC

Webflow v Wix- Is Webflow like Wix?

With 125 million registered users across the world, Wix is another large competitor for Webflow. Webflow is a much younger creation than Wix with a seven-year difference between the two, despite this, Webflow has been a popular choice with web designers. So, what make Wix and Webflow so similar yet so different?

  • Both are Website builders, but Wix is not ‘purely’ a CMS.  
  • Webflow allows full customisation while Wix uses templates.  
  • Webflow university vs contacting wix through email/self-help tutorials.  
  • Wix doesn't support custom code changes, whereas Webflow is flexible with coding.  
  • Webflow comes with Zapier integration, whereas Wix is more user-friendly.    
  • Wix has an integrated mobile editor, so you can modify the mobile version of your website from your phone/ tablet.
  • Wix has an AI builder option available
  • Both offer hosting, Webflow tool is capable of handling millions of concurrent visits. Wix also offers hosting whilst giving your site 99.9% uptime and data backup protection.
  • Both have SSL protection. Webflow is backed by constant threat monitoring. Wix claims they have extensive hacker testing and DDoS protection.

Both web builders are popular choices, mirroring a lot of features. We conclude that Wix is a simpler and more affordable option for those with little to no web design experience. Whilst Webflow can be used by beginners, it is a better tool for web builders and coders as the freedom it provides with code, dramatically expands the opportunities for the sites features.

What type of website would work for your business?  

Different types of websites are available for the different needs of businesses. You can utilise Webflow to create the style and function that would suit your business offers including features, layouts, and style.  

Here are some Website types you can build on Webflow:  

  • Ecommerce website: If you are business selling products or services, then an E-commerce site is the one for you. Your online store needs to be interactive, attractive, informative, easy to navigate and very secure. Webflow offers everything you need for an e-commerce site. Offering the simplest features needed such as customizable cart and checkout experience, managing products and orders, clever categorisation and filtering of products. You can create a completely custom online shop without any code.
  • Portfolio website: used for creative professionals. (Photographers / Videographers / designers / artists / writers) to showcase their work. Possible design features to include are slideshows/galleries as the focus is on how to best display the work.  
  • Blog website: Is Webflow good for a blog? A Blog website is a channel for articles/videos with the intent to inform and entertain an audience, maybe for individuals or a company. A blog allows you to develop entertaining or informational content that interests your audience, thereby increasing site traffic and allowing you to expand your brand.
  • Entertainment Website: You have most definitely found yourself on an entertainment website at one point in your life online. Any site with fun or light informative content that has roped you in with clickbait of cats or celebrities is an entertainment website. The main flow of income for these platforms tends to be advertisements on their pages. Webflow allows running ads on your site just like any other, using custom code you can implement ad scripts and make your money! 
  • Business Website: Most business websites are very straightforward. When a company is offering a service, their site will raise awareness of what they do, why they are the best option in that field of work, and how to move forward with them. Enriched with their Branding, this website needs to offer a strong user experience, as it is a representation of the company's professionalism and general image.  
Attractive website on laptop

Webflow Reviews 2021

Many trusted tech gurus have explored and reviewed Webflow, almost all responses are positive, with just the warnings to the non-code savvy clients. See below for some of the most trusted verdicts of 2021.  

“I am super impressed with Webflow. I honestly can’t wait to see where it goes from here— but I did occasionally run into limitations. Webflow is not going to be for everybody— it has a learning curve— but for those willing to learn, it’s going to be hugely powerful.”  

'Webflow Review', Site Builder Report (2021)  

“We'll keep this simple: If you're willing to put in some time and effort to learn a powerful new visual development tool that could completely transform your web design business, Webflow is for you."

'Webflow Review 2021: Is It Right for You?', Flux Academy (2021)

"Webflow is a great website builder for people who want to learn. There are dozens of crash course videos on how to use Webflow for free at Webflow University. This website builder offers the most help to anyone looking to share their ideas online.”  

'Webflow website builder review', Tech Radar (2021)

“Despite not being the cheapest or easiest platform to use, Webflow does stand tall when it comes to design. You can customize all sorts, without having to know code, making it feel very advanced without feeling inaccessible. Templates are well-designed, mobile-optimized, and cover a range of industries. Webflow’s features, however, are rather limited, and you may well have to make use of its third-party integrations.”  

'Webflow Review', Website Builder Expert (2021)

Webflow is also trusted by large companies such as:  

HelloSign.

SeamlessGov.

Zestful.

BankMobile.

SuperLemon.  

person writing on laptop

Webflow Verdict

So, there it is, a thorough look into Webflow, as you can see Webflow is for businesses who don’t want the cheap and easy route but also don’t want to lose control or spend a fortune on their website. Unlike other options, the outcome of a Webflow site can be much more rewarding without having dependence on a developer for minor changes, businesses take back control and can make edits themselves.  

Webflow is a great option for businesses looking to build an attractive online presence without prior experience, while also providing a platform for those who are experienced website builders. If you are interested in using Webflow to put your best (digital!) foot forward, get in touch today to see if we are a good fit for each other. With Webflow, you will have a simple, efficient and seamless experience.

Unlike other options, the outcome of a Webflow site can be much more rewarding without having dependence on a developer for minor changes, businesses take back control and can make edits themselves.