Webflow: When To Use It

Water color blue background with a Webflow logoWater color blue background with a Webflow logo
Table of Contents

Webflow is a drag-and-drop website builder that lets you create custom websites with clean code when compared to WordPress builders, Wix, and Squarespace. To put it briefly, it is as close as you can get to a completely custom build, just at a much friendlier price point.

With that custom aspect, it has a much steeper learning curve for non-coders, despite the fact that you can technically build on it without coding knowledge. In most cases, it does require the talents of an experienced Webflow-specific development team to push the Webflow platform to it's limits, while understanding where it may not fit properly. That's why we're here: to help you understand how Webflow works, and when to use it!

What is Webflow?

Webflow is a website design platform. It's a hybrid drag and drop and JavaScript page builder; an all-in-one tool that allows you to both build your site and create stunning features on the fly. It's also one of the most popular tools in this space at present, so if you're looking for more ways to improve your web presence without assigning the budget to build a site from scratch, it might be worth checking out!

When to Use Webflow

  • If you want to create a website with an incredible design. The Made In Webflow showcase is rife with examples of conceptual projects that Webflow can handle.
  • If your business needs a CMS that can be updated by non-technical users quickly and easily, then Webflow is also well-suited for this purpose.
  • If your business wants top-of-the-line page speed metrics on every page in order to rank better in search engines (and because they're important for user experience), then Webflow will help you achieve those goals as well!
  • If you've had enough with having to handle multiple subscriptions at a time, paying a developer a monthly rate to 'maintain' your website, and dealing with site outages due to broken plugin stack.
  • If you want a secure website without needing to constantly monitor your platform and files.

When Not to Use Webflow

  • If you need significant custom functionality. This includes projects that would need membership, ecommerce, directories, inter-user communication, video or mass image hosting, etc. Can you technically achieve some of these functions? Sort of, in some cases, but in most cases, it's best to work with software that is built for your specifications.
  • If you have a massive number of static pages. A static page has different designs, content, and functionality to others on the site. This does not include dynamic pages, which are usually things like blogs, events, team bio pages, and other items that get updated on a consistent basis.
  • If you need a powerful database to drive your site. Webflow has a hard limit of 10,000 items in their CMS 'database', regardless of pricing tier or site size. This commonly means that Webflow sites are not suitable for photographers looking to proliferate their image libraries to clients on the platform, large directories, or content-driven platforms with large archives of articles such as news organizations.

How to Choose a Webflow Developer

Choosing the right developer for your project is important. There are several factors to consider when choosing a Webflow developer:

  • Ensure that they are utilizing a logical naming system such as BEM or Finsweet Client-First. Oftentimes, non-developers can build good looking sites that tend to have bad underlying code that makes scaling the site difficult after launch.
  • If you can, try to find a developer from the Webflow Professional Partners directory. These users have been pre-vetted by Webflow to ensure that they have at least a reasonable level of talent on the platform.
  • Make sure they have experience. This can be anything from having worked with clients in the past to possessing industry certifications or degrees.
  • Make sure they're responsive, professional and available to answer questions by email and phone (if needed). If you don't get an answer within 24 hours, try again!
  • Check out their portfolio and make sure that it's full of examples of work from various industries—this will give you confidence that they know what they're doing!

Conclusion

For those that are looking for a low-maintenance, fast, secure and beautiful marketing website with great ease-of-use for non-tech-savvy users, Webflow could potentially be a great solution. It is not a good fit for every project but with custom Javascript and some 3rd party integrations, it can be utilized for some moderately functional tasks to expand it's usability.

If you're not sure whether or not Webflow is the right route for your next website design project, reach out to us at hello@papercrane.ca. We'll be happy to discuss what you're looking for and give you some honest insight into whether or not Webflow would be the best solution for your company's specific needs.
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