Webflow is a website building tool known for its impressive user interface and detailed controls. It is a Delaware corporation which operates out of San Francisco. The tool provides the user with superior control over each and every element of the website. It allows the user to create spectacular websites without the need to write even a single line of code.
- Control anything: This website builder provides the user with granular controls over all the elements of the website. The user can customize almost all the properties of the website. There are not many website builders who can compete with Webflow when it comes to controlling the elements of the website.
- Intuitive user interface: Webflow has one of the most intuitive user interfaces among the website builders. It does provide the user with the regular drag and drop feature of the website builders, but there is so much more that it offers. The various panels and tabs on the builder help user know the structure of the website which then leads to better website building abilities.
- No design limits: There is almost no limit to what the user can do on this website builder. The features are limited by the user’s thinking ability. Otherwise one can make the website as extravagant as she wants. It is such an easy task to fill the website with special effects on Webflow.
- Tons of templates: The website builder provides users with a lot of templates to start building a website. This helps the builder to keep things easy for the users who don’t want to indulge in a lot of customizing on the builder. The templates present on the builder cover most of the website categories.
- Content Management System: The CMS on the website builder makes it easy for the webmaster to manage all the dynamic content of the website. It also saves a great deal of the user’s time. It can be employed in a lot of fields on the website. The CMS categories are fully customizable as well.
- Secure webpages: The website builder ensures that the user’s website gets all the security enhancements it needs. The builder provides SSL certification for all the websites created on the builder. The HTTPS protocol is not only a mark of better security on the website, but it also helps with the search engine rankings to some extent.
- Access to code: The website builder allows the user to access and export code for the website created. This opens up so many avenues for the user. One can export the codes and host the website through any other website that he/she wants.
- App integrations: Since Webflow allows access to codes, one can include as many third-party apps and integrations as one wants. These applications enhance the features of the builder and help the user grow the website. It is again an easy task to include application codes in the website builder.
- Work as a team: The website builder has certain team plans which let more than one people work on a single website. This feature can come in very handy when there is a very large and complex website to be created. One can delegate different sections to various team members and divide the workload.
- Handy support: The video tutorials of the website builder are available on the designer itself. Once can get assistance through these videos without the need to even leave the canvas. The neat organization of the videos also help the user identify the useful video for the relevant case.
- The website for every device: Webflow allows the user to keep a check on how the website looks on screens with different aspect ratios. The builder manages the whole website in small boxes. The user can see the rearrangement of these boxes as the aspect ratio varies.
- Assists in SEO: Search engine optimization is among the biggest concerns of webmasters these days. The website builder helps the user with this section also. There is a section dedicated to SEO on the builder. The user can manage various aspects of the website which affect the search engine ranking.
- Lots to learn: There are so many elements and controls on the website builder that it is bound to take some time for anyone to get used to it. There is a steep learning curve involved with the website builder.
- No store for apps: The website builder does not provide any store (or marketplace) for third-party integrations. There are a lot of popular applications which are used by many of the webmasters. It would be a lot more helpful for the users if the popular apps were readily available.
Learning to build a website up from scratch can be a very intimidating process. It requires one to have sound knowledge of computing languages and a lot of patience and perseverance to sit down and write long and exhaustive codes.
Having a website can have a lot of benefits. For businesses, it is just as important as having an office. For individuals, it is one of the best ways to reach out to a broader audience.
Website builders allow people to make websites themselves without going through the hassles of writing long codes or learning complicated languages.
Website builders follow different strategies when it comes to allowing the user to design a website. Some provide predefined structures and layouts in which the user can fill her own content. The other kind of website builders allow the user himself to decide the structure of the website.
Webflow falls in the latter category of website builders. It is popular for allowing the user to interact even with the smallest elements of the website.
The service providers have done an excellent job by creating an amazing official website for the product. The website stands as a prime example of what the website builder is capable of doing. Webflow has undoubtedly the most impressive website among all the website builders.
In this review, we will go through the features of the website builder and try to find out how is this website builder is different from the other drag and drop website builders.
We will also see how easy it is to create awesome websites, such as the one of the website builder itself, on the website builder. A lot of things are involved in a website other than the design elements, and we will try to find out if the builder takes care of the other features or not.
This review will not only tell you a lot about Webflow, but you will also get to know a lot about the website builders in general.
The onus is on you at the beginning
There can be a lot of reasons that prompt a person to build a website. It can be to build a new business, to propagate ideas, a school project, or just for the sake of it.
It is also apparent that different people have different skill sets in the same way they have different needs from the website.
Some can be mere beginners when it comes to making websites with no knowledge about coding at all, while there may also be some who are professional coders with a lot of websites under their belt.
Webflow seems to take care of all these factors when a user starts building a website on the platform. It appears that Webflow takes care of all these factors because it asks all such questions from the users.
When you start with the process of creating a website on the application, it will ask you three questions: The purpose of the website, the role of the person making the website, and the experience that this person has when it comes to making websites.
However, it is tough to determine the extent to which these choices affect the whole website making experience on the application.
But once you are done choosing the appropriate responses for the questions asked by the website builder, it will serve you with a collection of templates.
This collection includes blank templates dedicated to specific categories of websites such as business starter, store starter, and even a completely blank page as well.
Below these blank templates, there are various custom-made templates with different tags on them on the basis of the category and the nature of the website.
You can go through all of these at once or sort them according to your preference. Webflow allows classification of the templates on the basis of type, category, and a few other features.
Webflow took care of the preferences of almost everyone by providing both blank as well as filled templates.
Some people believe that filled templates hinder the creativity of the user. One can also argue that it makes the user replicate someone else’s design instead of coming up with their own.
The other school of thought says that ready-made templates act only as a motivation for the user, and speed-up the website creation process by a significant margin.
It is tough to argue against any of these classes, and therefore, we feel that Webflow did a commendable job by keeping both the sides happy.
You can have a completely empty page or a template and start giving shape to your ideas on the builder. You can also make a stunning looking website based on the inspiration you got from this gorgeous template.
The choice is yours.
The Designer with granular controls
Let us start by saying that Webflow has one of the most impressive editors available on website builders. The extent of control and customization available on the editor of this website builder is tough to beat.
However, there are downsides of having such a detailed editor, and it is the steep learning curve that comes with it. We will discuss this issue in detail as well, but first, let us check out the attributes of this editor.
The website builder uses the term ‘designer’ for the part which we generally refer to as the editor on a website builder. They have another tab which they refer to as the editor of the website.
The key difference between the designer and the editor on the website is that the editor can be used only when the website has been published. One can make changes in the content of the website using the editor.
The designer, on the other hand, is to control all the elements and content of the webpage irrespective of the fact that the website has been published or not. The designer has superior controls when compared to the editor.
The website builder is based on a box design. These boxes contain text, images, other boxes, animations, videos, etc. Anything that you can add on the designer is contained within a box, and it is called an element.
A box may contain multiple elements. However, this leads to a situation when a box is contained within another box. In such a scenario, the outside box is called the parent box, while the inside box is called the child box.
If there are multiple boxes inside a box, the inside boxes will be called sibling boxes if they are not contained within each other. Otherwise, a child box can have further child boxes.
This nested system of boxes or elements helps create and maintain a hierarchy on the website, which makes it easy for the webmaster to manage the elements of the website.
Basically, anything that you put on the website will be contained in some box. One can consider a box as the building block of the website.
And when you arrange these boxes piece by piece in a specific layout, it turns out to be a website.
The designer of the builder has all sorts of panels. There is a right panel, a left panel, a top panel, and the canvas. All these together provide the user with extensive control of the website.
The Left Panel
Starting from the left panel, it can be divided into two parts, the top and the bottom. The top part of the left side panel is all about the basic controls of the website. It allows the user to manage the elements, pages, CMS, the assets, the e-store, and settings on the website.
The ‘Add Elements’ button has elements classified under various categories which the user can directly incorporate on the website.
There are specific elements for texts and media, and then there are elements which can be used to arrange the content on the website. One can find elements which arrange the content in rows, columns, and other layouts.
Other elements of a webpage such as buttons, icons, and symbols are also available in this tab.
The ‘Add Elements’ tab is followed by ‘Pages.’ As the name suggests, this tab is to manage the webpages of the website. However, there is a lot more that one can do on this tab other than adding, deleting, and moving the pages.
The tab displays the pages in various categories such as utility pages, e-commerce pages, and CMS collection pages. The user can also create custom categories for the pages on the website.
There is a settings button next to all the pages in the tab. This opens a lot more avenues for the user. It lets the user set up password protection for the pages and the website and design the password page.
The webmaster can save pages as drafts. The drafts don’t get published along with the website unless they are staged on the website. There are a lot of benefits of having the ability to save a page as a draft.
The webmaster can utilize the drafts as a backup or keep the pages under construction as drafts. One can also have drafts with relevant information about the website or the content, which the webmaster doesn’t want to share with the audience.
The settings button lets the user manage the meta description and the meta title of the page as well which is a part of SEO management on the website builder.
There is an option to add custom code in the header or the footer of the webpage which supports third-party integration on the website.
There is an option to design the error (404) page and manage the redirects (301) as well.
Next in the panel is the CMS (Content Management System) tab. It lets the user create a collection of items in specific order and design. This tool makes it very easy to manage the webpage as a team.
We have discussed the CMS on Webflow in detail in a later section of the review.
Then comes the E-commerce button which is again a topic worth discussion in a separate section.
It is followed by the Assets button. Assets refer to everything ranging from images and animations to word documents which can be simply uploaded on the canvas while creating the website.
The webmaster needs to upload all the files relevant to the website beforehand in the Assets. Once the files are in the Asset, the webmaster does not need to leave the builder when it comes to uploading the content on the page from the device.
This also makes it easy to locate the documents for the website which speeds up the process of website building.
There is a settings button as well which helps the user with the search settings and e-commerce management.
This was all about the top portion of the left panel. Let us now have a look at the bottom part of this panel.
The top part was all about tools to enable the user to make changes on the website. The bottom portion is all about assisting the user and making it easy to make changes on the website.
The highlight of this part is the video tutorial button. This button pops open a series of videos on how to go about making changes in the designer and use various tools.
The user can click on any video title know more about that particular facet of the website builder. The best part is that the videos play on the canvas itself.
This allows the user to get a video tutorial without leaving the website builder window, and it makes it easy to cross reference the tutorial with the panels available on the designer.
Majority of the website builders provide video tutorials for their products, but hardly anyone makes it as convenient as Webflow to access the tutorial videos.
There is a help button as well. It has a ‘help and feedback’ tab and a ‘keyboard shortcuts’ tab. The shortcuts become very useful once the user gets used to the designer. They make the process a lot easier and more efficient for the webmaster.
The other buttons in this part of the panel are also to enhance the designing experience. The buttons enable the X-ray mode, show guidelines, hide edges, etc.
The Top Panel
The toolbar at the top of the canvas is dedicated mostly to the previewing and publishing tools. Once the webmaster makes some changes in the design or content of the website, she is most likely to refer to the top panel after it.
The left-most corner of the webpage shows the name of the page which is on display on the designer. The webmaster can open the page settings directly from this option and make suitable changes.
The top panel also has the preview button as well the different screen options. One can look at how the website looks on different screens such as desktop, mobile, and tablet while designing the website as well as in the preview mode.
One noticeable feature of the adaptive mode on this website builder is that it provides the preview option for both the orientations of the mobile screen.
The user can adjust the screen sizes even for the adaptive mode. This shows how the elements rearrange themselves when the screen dimensions change.
The box design on Webflow ensures that the content is rearranged in a set pattern which lets the webmaster have a clue of how things will turn out when the canvas space changes.
The designer follows a simple rule that the boxes get arranged from top to bottom and left to right. The boxes fill the available space according to the internal hierarchy of the website.
The presence of undo and redo buttons on the designer has its own importance. The switch to export code is also present on the top panel of the designer. This feature opens up a lot of avenues for the webmaster to make the website better.
The other buttons on the top panel are to save the changes made by the user and to publish the website with or without the changes made on the website.
The top panel of the designer is neither crowded nor complex in nature. The buttons available on the top panel are also similar which makes it easy for the user to navigate through the designer.
The Right Panel
In our opinion, this panel makes the website builder both awesome and annoying at the same time.
When you look at it for the first time, it may seem as complex as the controls inside an airplane cockpit.
But that overwhelming feeling stays only for a while, and once you get to know the options available on this panel, you find it easier to appreciate its usefulness.
As the tutorials of the website builder point it out several times, this panel provides the user with granular control over the website and its elements.
This panel has five tabs at the top to begin with. It is these tabs which decide the tools to be displayed in the tab.
The first tab we would like to discuss is the navigator. It is not the first tab on the panel, but it will be easier to understand this tab before the others.
The navigator displays the hierarchy of all the boxes on the webpage. Remember how boxes can fit inside different boxes on this website builder? The navigator helps the user identify this nesting of the boxes.
A box contained in another box will be slightly offset on the right from the outside box on the navigator. The user can name the different elements and boxes on the page, and then these will be shown by their respective names in the navigator.
One can move the boxes around on the web page using the navigator as well. You can add or remove boxes from within the boxes.
The navigator highlights the items and boxes on the canvas when the user points on it on the navigator. This makes it easy to locate the items on a relatively crowded website.
The child boxes inherit the attributes of parent boxes on Webflow. This lets the user choose the correct parent box from within the navigator and then make the changes in it so that all the boxes included in it show the same attributes.
This eliminates the repetitiveness from the website building process.
The next important tab is the styles tab. And this one is just loaded with customization options. The styles tab takes care of everything ranging from spacing and size to background and filters.
When the user selects any box or item on the canvas, the styles tab displays all the attributes of the item which can be varied on the website builder.
However, it will take some time for the beginners to understand how the different changes affect the website. It will be tough to know what section of the panel to refer to make the panel appear the way you want it to.
The built-in tutorials and guides will help the user cross over the threshold. Once the user knows the whereabouts of all the necessary tools, it will be a blissful experience to create a website using this website builder.
There is hardly any customization option that this website builder does not offer to the user.
The interactions tab on the panel has to be the most fun tool on the website builder to use. You can enable animations and effects for the elements and pages on your website.
The user has multiple options for effects which can spice up the website. It is also an effective tool to emphasize the importance of certain sections and elements on the website. It also goes without saying that the tool improves the aesthetics of the website and makes it a lot more dynamic in nature.
The other two tabs on the side panel are the element settings and the style manager. One can select an element from the canvas and change some of its attributes in the element settings tab.
The following stores all the different classes and tags that the user has created on the website builder. The tab allows the edition and deletion of the classes as well.
As it happens in most of the websites, the canvas is also an avenue to edit the website and its content. One can use it for more primary functions such as modifying the text and moving the elements.
When you right click on a selected element on the canvas, it pops up a menu which showcases all the different customization options available for the element.
The right-click menu does not show all the editing options but the more macroscopic ones. When the user selects an item on the canvas, the bottom of the canvas shows the hierarchical position of the element on the website.
This again helps in navigation on the website builder. The user can directly select the parent elements of the item from this hierarchy chart on the canvas.
The designer on Webflow seems free of any demerit other than that it can be a bit too complex, to begin with for some of the users.
Store full of features
The Internet is the biggest marketplace. There is hardly anything that one cannot buy on the internet.
The webstores are increasing in number at an exponential rate which means a lot of options for the buyers but a lot of competition for the sellers.
This stiff competition requires businesses to stand out from the rest. No matter what the annual turnover of the business is, all it gets is the screen on the user’s device to win him/her over.
So, among factors such as the quality, support, and service, the website and the ease of shopping also affect the success of the business.
This is when it becomes important that the business has a professional looking webstore which incites trust and reliability in the minds of buyers.
The webstore needs to be efficient when it comes to product display, filtering, sorting, checking out, etc. One can have the most interesting webstore on the internet, but it will be useless until the buyer can make the purchases easily.
Going by the features that Webflow offered in the designer, the user should not have any trouble in designing an awesome webstore.
The styles and layouts are limited only by the user’s imagination. There is hardly any feature which the website builder denies its users.
The user has a lot of options to arrange the products. They can be categorized into various categories, and the user can create custom layouts for the products. The options available on the interactions panel can come in handy to highlight the products.
The e-commerce tab on the left panel contains all the necessary tools that one can ask for the management of the store.
They have kept it easy for a beginner on the website builder or someone new to making a webstore by providing a checklist for the store.
The checklist prompts the user for all the milestones related to setting up, designing, and launching the store.
The checklist is followed by the ‘Products’ button where the builder lists out all the products added by the webmaster. All the tools to manage the products on the webstore are available in this tab.
The builder lets the user add the product along with the image, description and any number of features such as sizes, dimensions, color, etc. One can set different tax rates for the products, enable the inventory management feature as well.
The user can create as many categories in the store and add the product in as many categories she wants as well.
Shipping methods, payment methods, integrations, checkouts, etc. are again effortless to setup on the builder. The payment setup can be synced with a lot of the payment services such as Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, PayPal, etc.
The integrations help spreading a word about the product on social media. One part of promotion is the newsletters and the promotional emails, and Webflow helps the user in designing beautiful templates and managing the email section of the webstore.
The orders on the store are visible in the website editor, and the user can manage the order statuses from the editor.
Webflow does not provide any kind of analytic tool of its own. The user will depend upon third-party analytics tools such as Google Analytics to have a detailed report about the store’s performance.
We did not discuss much the appearance of the store created on the website builder as we have already said enough about the capabilities of the designer on the builder.
The website builder provides readily available webstore templates for the users who don’t want to invest time in creating a unique design for their webstore. For the rest of the users, there are plenty of customization options when it comes to the design.
The user can also modify the cart button and the checkout page of the store.
Webflow provides the user with all the necessary tools required to create a successful webstore.
Coming to the dashboard after discussing the previous sections is like taking a few steps back to have a sense of the bigger picture.
The dashboard lists all the websites created by the user on the website builder. Free subscribers are limited to creating only two websites.
The dashboard exhibits all the features that are expected of it such as categorization and sorting of the websites listed in the account. The user can create as many folders as needed, and the group the websites.
This makes it easy for the user to keep the dashboard neat and organized. One can sort the websites in the alphabetical order, on the basis of date of creation, and on the basis of the time of modification.
The publication status of the websites is displayed on the dashboard itself.
The website builder allows the user to access either of the designer and the editor from the dashboard itself. The options to share, duplicate, and delete the websites are also available on the dashboard.
There is a settings option available for all the websites which opens up a whole spectrum of controls for the user. It opens up a new window which is filled with all sorts of options for the website. Let us discuss a few of these.
The first tab is ‘General,’ and it lets the user make changes in the name, subdomain, time zone, at a lot of the other particulars.
It also displays the site overview, statistics, and activity. This covers everything ranging from total volume of assets on the site to the number of views on the site. One can also manage the favicon of the website in this tab.
The next tab is ‘Hosting,’ and it informs the user about the plans available on the website builder to host the websites. The changes regarding the subdomain of the website are also made in this tab.
The next tab is called ‘Editor.’ It is not the actual editor of the website but a tab which lets the user makes changes related to the editor of the website. One can also manage the roles of team members in this tab.
‘SEO’ is also one of the supposedly important tabs in the settings window. We have explained the different options available in the tab in one of the upcoming sections of the review.
The ‘Forms’ tab lets the webmaster manage the forms and form submissions on the website, while the ‘Fonts’ tab is to handle the font styles available for the website. One can use Google fonts, Adobe fonts, and the custom fonts as well.
The ‘Backups’ folder shows all the versions of the website. The user can choose to save a version of the website at any point of time, otherwise the website keeps saving various versions of the file itself as well.
The ‘Integrations’ tab is the place where the webmaster can manage all the third-party applications in use for the website.
The final tab in the settings window is ‘Custom Code.’ It lets the webmaster add custom CSS and HTML codes for the website.
The dashboard, along with the available options makes it effortless for the user to manage the multiple websites created on the website builder.
One of the tabs on the left panel is CMS. CMS (Content Management System) allows the user to manage all the dynamic content of the website.
The dynamic content of the website refers to all those items which one can expect to change or update at regular intervals.
For instance, if you have a blogging website, then you can create a category called ‘Blogs’ on in the CMS tab. You can add some custom fields in the blog such as name, text, image, etc.
Doing so will automatically create a CMS collection page in the ‘Pages’ tab. You are about to know why the builder does so.
There are two ways to use the CMS collection categories on the Webflow. One is by using the collection pages, and the other is by using the collection list.
To add the content using the CMS collection page, the user needs to create a page with static elements such as boxes for words and texts, and then bind them to the CMS category. You can create multiple pages at the same time by doing the work for one page only.
To make use of the CMS collection list, the user can drag and drop the CMS collection category from the items page and place it anywhere on the page. The next steps are to bind the content and make the necessary adjustments.
This will again replicate all the changes made by the user in one element of the category on all the remaining elements. The customization options are also plenty which happens to be a consistent theme on this website builder.
Webflow has tutorials to guide the user with the process of using CMS collection categories.
The CMS categories also accept the .csv files, so the user has the option to upload a large volume of content in one go. The builder also provides dummy content for testing purpose as well.
The CMS feature on the website builder pushes it a lot further than a lot of the other builders. One can improve the efficiency manifolds when it comes to managing the content on the website.
As soon as you publish a website, you may feel the need to go on search engines and find if your website appears in one of the top results for the relevant keyword.
However, the chances of a relatively new website appearing in the top search results are very slim. It is a different case altogether if you are paying the search engine to show your result on top for a keyword.
Search engines use algorithms, which are continuously evolving, to rank websites and then display the results accordingly. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process where the webmaster creates the website and its content in such a way that it is better ranked in a search engine.
People use various strategies to improve the search engine ranking of websites. Some of these strategies even try to take unfair advantage of the search engine algorithm. But the algorithms are also getting smarter with each day and penalizes deceptive practices intended to improve the ranking of the website.
The internet is filled with SEO strategies, and one can learn a lot about the organic ways to improve the search engine rankings. However, in our opinion, the best SEO strategy to follow would be to put good quality content on the website, and the ranking will take care of itself.
Once you have good quality content on the website, there are a few standard practices that one needs to follow which enables the search engine to recognize the content on the website.
Webflow assists the webmaster in taking care of all these standard practices. There is an SEO option in the site settings.
The SEO tab is divided in three sections: Indexing, Sitemap, and Google Site Verification.
In the indexing section, the user can disable the indexing of Webflow subdomain. There is also an option to generate robot.txt files. This can help prevent the indexing of web pages and even folders on the web pages.
The webmaster can stop the search engine from irrelevant pages such as the 404. Proper use of robot.txt files will ensure that there is no unnecessary penalization from the search engine.
Webflow automatically generates the sitemap for the website. The user can choose to go with the automatically generated sitemap or create a sitemap on her own. The website builder also lets the user submit the sitemap.
And then there is option of Google Site Verification from the dashboard on the website builder itself.
Meta description, title tags, etc. also constitute a part of SEO, and these can be managed from within the designer. One can go to the page settings and enter the meta description of the page along with the other entries.
This website builder hasn’t done something extraordinary in the SEO section, but there is no need for extreme features in this section as well. Improving the ranking of a website requires some patience and adherence to clean SEO practices.
Webflow makes sure that it is there to assist the user on every step of the way to grow the website in terms of popularity and reach.
Speed and Security
Speed and security of the webpage must be among the biggest concerns of the webmaster once the website is live.
Speed determines how easy it is for a viewer to load the website without getting annoyed. The (loading) speed is also important as it is one of the factors which affect SEO.
The speed depends upon the servers which host the website, and on the design and structure of the website.
Webflow also provides hosting service for the websites created by the user, but it is totally up to the user if they want to choose Webflow or some third-party hosting service.
The website builder uses services of Fastly to host the websites created on the platform. Fastly is a reputable name in the cloud computing service provider niche.
The use of CDN makes sure that the users across the globe can access the website without any latency issues.
We created a simple website on the builder and the checked for its speed score on Gtmetrix. The website was not very complex in nature, and therefore the score which it got was very disappointing for us.
A brief analysis of the forum on Webflow pointed out that websites created on this website builder often hit such roadblocks.
One of the USPs of the website builder, that is, the ability to create sophisticated websites on the platform seems to be the root cause of this latency issue.
In simple terms, we can say that sometimes the complexity of the website structure makes it difficult to load the website in less time.
However, it is not that common of an occurrence that the websites created on this website builder get poor scores. But the speed is a very sensitive issue as it affects the user experience as well as the search engine rankings.
The website builder needs to address this issue to inject more confidence in the users who are considering creating a website on this platform.
Coming to the security part, the website builder seems to be doing its part. They use AWS for hosting the sites and mention that it uses some of the best practices when it comes to security.
Enabling SSL for your website is literally as simple as clicking a button on the website builder. The websites are published using the HTTPS protocol by default.
We found that Webflow maintains satisfactory security standards for the websites, and there is nothing much for users to worry about in this section.
Different people may have different goals when they decide to put a website on the internet. For some, it might be a way to fuel up the business while for some, the website may just be an avenue to express feelings and exercise creativity.
Then there are some goals which are common for almost all the types of webmasters and that can be to increase the popularity of the website and attract more traffic on it.
Just like there are some specific and some shared goals, in the same way, there are a lot of third applications available which help the user reach these goals.
A social media button may be beneficial for all the kinds of websites, while the apps focused on marketing may help only the business.
As one gets deeper into each niche, the applications also get increasingly focused. The app useful for an e-commerce website may be totally irrelevant to a restaurant website even though both the websites are for businesses.
Webflow does not avail any store or one click plugins and widgets to the user. All the third-party integrations on the website are possible only by embedding code on the website builder.
There are a few website builders who provide a store consisting of various popular third-party apps which the user can install directly without embedding any code.
We would have liked to see Webflow include at least some of the popular apps in a store.
However, the absence of any such store on the website builder does not make it a challenging task to employ the third-party applications on the website.
The website builder has made sure that the user does not end up pulling his hairs when trying to add an app. They provide an embed code element which the user can drag and drop on the website just like any other element.
Once the element is at the right place, all that user needs to do is to paste the code inside the element, and the website will get the application at the same position when published.
The same method is to be used when the user wants to add custom code on the website.
The tutorials on the website builder have explained the process as well as the importance of embedding codes on the website in great details.
For some of the extremely popular plugins such as Google Analytics, Google optimize, Facebook pixel, etc., the user can refer to the integrations tab in the settings window of the website.
One can add the relevant key or id for the service and use it for the website.
Once the user adds the ids and the keys, he can manage these services from integrations itself and monitor the results.
The website builder took care of the other popular applications dedicated to boosting the performance of the website or the business by providing tutorials for them.
However, when the user clicks on one of them, the link redirects the user to the application’s site. Anyhow, the user gets to know how to embed the service.
Integration of third-party should be the least of the user’s concern when working or considering working on this website builder.
The conventional way of making a website was to write codes for it. It requires a lot of technical expertise to write a code for a website, and that too a complicated one. The process of writing codes is time-consuming as well.
Website builders do away with this need to write codes to create a website so that anyone create a website with ease. However, it does not mean that the website created on a website builder doesn’t involve any codes.
The websites are still made up of codes, but it is the website builder who does all the hard work for the user. As the user makes changes in the website or introduces new elements to it, to builder keeps modifying the code for the website at the backend.
Webflow allows the user to export the code and use it however she may want. A lot of the website builders don’t let the user even see the code.
There can be a lot of reasons which may need one to export the code. One of the primary reasons which would require the user to export the code for the website is if he wants to host the site elsewhere.
There is nothing wrong with the hosting services of Webflow, but there can be a lot of situations which would require the user to host the site elsewhere.
The website builder causes no hindrance if a user wants to export the website. The feature to export code is available to the pro users.
The export button is present on the top panel. One can get the codes with just a single click of the button.
The builder exports the codes in a zip file which contains a CSS folder, a JS folder, an image folder, and the .html files. The exported file does not include the CMS and E-commerce content in it.
There is a small guide for those who want to export the code and host the site somewhere else. The guide mentions all the necessary steps if one wants to transfer the site to some other host successfully.
We believe that this feature on the website builder can be a game changer. Ability to interact with the code opens up so many avenues to create a great website.
It can help people with and without the knowledge of computer language to work as a team and give their insights to come up with an inspirational product.
Webflow does not talk much about the library it has. However, it does not mean that it has a poor or small library. We feel the reason behind such low emphasis on the library of the builder could be that it simply got dwarfed in the presence of other features on the builder.
The website builder has a rich library which helps the user in all sorts of situations during website building. There are a lot of high-resolution images which one can use on the website. Why go on a stock image library if one is already available on the platform.
Webflow has also got the advantages of the template-based website builders. There are a lot of layout and templates available on the website builder.
The ‘Assets’ tab on Webflow, is not only a place where the user can upload all the content for the website. The tab also provides the user with some stock images which one can use to improve the looks of the website.
The remarkable feature of Asset is that it makes it very easy for the webmaster to manage the content on the website. Once the user uploads all the assets for the website, she can now modify the content from any device and from any place.
This is something that we don’t see very often in the website builders.
Someone who does not wants to spend a lot of time tweaking between the settings and spacing of the builder can simply get one of the templates and replace the content. However, that will be a mocking of all the specialized tools present on Webflow.
The effects, shadows, and borders options also enhance the appeal of the website when used correctly. There are also a lot of font options and color scheme options available on the builder.
There is hardly anything to complain when it comes to the library on the website builder. It contains enough resources for one to create a fantastic website.
It can be a tough task for just one person to manage or create a complete website, even if there is an advanced website builder such as Webflow to help the person.
It is also a good thing for the website in general if there is more than one mind which contributes to its making.
Webflow allows teams to work on websites by using the team plans of the user. One can get an account under a team plan, and then invite others to join the team.
The other team members do not need to have a pro subscription account or team plan. However, they do need to create an account on Webflow to join the team as a member.
There is so much that can be achieved when collaborating with others to create a website. People can be assigned specific roles on the website which will help get better results.
The team plan on the website builder also makes it easier for team members present in different parts of the world to work in cohesion on the project.
There is a shortcoming of the team plan on Webflow. It does not let the user assign specific roles to the team members.
There are a few website builders such as Strikingly which let the user be specific with the role and the extent of control that a team member gets.
Webflow is not very easy to use service by any means. The complexity of the website builder is the price that one needs to pay for the granular control on the elements of the website.
It might be easier to understand the mechanics of this website builder for someone who is not new in the arena of website building. But it must be very exhaustive for beginners to know all about the controls on the service.
The Webflow team would have also realized that it might not be very easy for novices or even the pros to learn how to use this website builder efficiently. Therefore, they have not left any stone unturned when it comes to providing support to the user.
Webflow did not rely much on conventional methods such as live chat and query ticket system to assist the users.
One can still reach out to the service if there is an exceptional issue which the tutorial and guide cannot handle. Otherwise, the detailed tutorials and guides provided by the website builder should be enough to teach the user all about the editing on the service.
There is a video series which tells all about the website builder starting from the architectural style to how to change borders.
One can go through this video series on the official website of Webflow, or YouTube. The videos explain all the elements in details while keeping the videos interesting with a dash of humor.
But the idea of going through a long video series may not appeal to a lot of the users who want to jump into the designer straight away and let out their creativity.
Webflow took care of the needs of such users as well. The videos are also available on the designer, and one can refer to the videos as and when needed.
It is not necessary that everyone may like learning things through video tutorials. Webflow university is the perfect avenue for this set of users.
It contains a detailed explanation for all the items of the website builder and guides the user through the process of using these items the way they were intended to be used.
Both the video tutorials and the content of the Weblfow university have been created with great attention to the details while keeping it simple for the user at the same time.
Other than these two mechanisms, the website builder has also got a query ticket system and a discussion forum for the users.
The customer support system of Webflow servers its purpose tremendously well, and we have hardly got any improvements to suggest in this section.
Webflow is a website builder studded with a lot of impressive features. This builder provides the user with all the necessary tools to create an remarkable website and a lot more.
Starting from the designer, all the panels and the controls may look a little bit intimidating in the beginning, but that is only for a short while. Once the user gets accustomed to the controls, the designer becomes a playground for the user.
Features such as assets management and CMS ensure that it is easy for the user to manage the static as well as the dynamic content of the website builder.
One can create an appealing e-commerce website as well. The builder takes care of all the aspects of store management.
The ability to export and the team plan are some of the features which improve productivity on the website builder.
There are a few shortcomings on the builder here and there, but those don’t hamper the user’s ability to create an amazing website very much.
Webflow can be used by all the categories of the user irrespective of their expertise and requirements. The builder is capable enough of competing with the template-based website builders in terms of the ease of use.