Webflow Review: What Makes This Website Builder So Powerful?
September 18, 2023
Are you considering Webflow as your go-to website builder, but unsure if it’s the right fit for your needs? In this comprehensive review of Webflow for 2023, we’ll explore the platform’s core features, benefits, pricing, and integrations to help you make an informed decision. Let’s see if Webflow has what it takes to bring your business' web design vision to life.
Webflow’s visual editor provides an intuitive way to create websites with resources for mastering the platform.
Webflow has a variety of pricing plans to fit different use cases and expected traffic.
Webflow's learning curve can be steep, but it has a robust ecosystem of templates and expert designers that can work with you to produce a high-quality website.
Webflow's Key Features and Benefits
Webflow has quickly gained popularity among web designers and developers thanks to its powerful design capabilities, responsive templates, and extensive customization options. With over 425,000 live websites built and hosted on the platform, it’s clear that Webflow is gaining traction as a top choice in the website-building space.
However, Webflow’s steep learning curve and the need for basic knowledge of HTML and CSS might not suit everyone. Despite providing a highly customizable and visually appealing platform, it’s more complex than other website builders such as Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress. That being said, if you’re willing to invest time in learning the ropes and have a basic understanding of HTML and CSS, Webflow can be a rewarding choice for creating unique and responsive websites.
Visual Editor for Seamless Design
Designers can leverage Webflow’s visual editor, a robust and intuitive tool, to create responsive websites without heavy reliance on coding. However, it may take some time for beginners to get used to the platform. Webflow University aids users in their initial adaptation phase, offering numerous video tutorials and articles on mastering webflow’s visual editor.
One of the most impressive Webflow features is its designer interface, which allows for smooth drag-and-drop editing and the creation of advanced animations and interactions. While the learning curve may be steep for some, the platform’s unique design capabilities and extensive resources make it an attractive option for users seeking a high level of customization and control.
Responsive Templates for Various Needs
Offering both free and premium options, Webflow’s diverse catalog of responsive templates caters to a range of industries and purposes. With over 2,000 templates in the library, including 49 free choices, users are sure to find a template that suits their needs.
These templates are both mobile-responsive and come with built-in custom animations that set them apart from other website builders like Squarespace and Shopify. However, keep in mind that once a template is selected, it's very difficult to change without basically starting over, so make sure to choose the right one before diving into the design process.
Customization Options for Unique Websites
Although there is a learning curve involved in mastering Webflow’s customization options, the platform’s resources and active community can help users quickly adapt and create stunning, one-of-a-kind websites. If you’re willing to invest the time and effort, Webflow’s powerful design capabilities can help you craft a visually impressive online presence.
Webflow Pricing and Plans
Webflow caters to varying user needs and budgets, offering a diversified set of pricing plans that include Site, Ecommerce, and Workspace plans. Each plan comes with its own set of features and capabilities, so let’s explore them in more detail to help you find the perfect fit for your project.
Site Plans Overview
Webflow offers a free plan, so there's no risk to testing it out to see if it fits your needs. It's limited, of course, with a maximum of 50 CMS items, 50 lifetime form submissions, 100 user accounts, and 1GB of monthly bandwidth. But that's enough to get started and to test with.
The biggest limitation of the free plan is you can only use it on a webflow.io domain. This means you can't use the free tier with your custom domain.
For that, you'll need to upgrade to the Basic plan. It costs $12 per month (billed annually) or $15 month-to-month, and includes the following features on top of that custom domain:
2,000 CMS items. What's a CMS item? CMS stands for Content Management System. It's a set of features built directly into Webflow. If your site has a product catalog, each product would take up one CMS item. If you publish a blog post for content marketing or SEO, it would also take up one CMS item.
1,000 monthly form submissions. If you generate sales leads through your website, you've probably got a Contact Us form. Each submission would count against this cap.
200GB of bandwidth. Bandwidth is just a measure of how much content your website is delivering. The more visitors, the more bandwidth. Unless you are serving lots of videos directly from your site (not Youtube links), you likely won't need to worry about this.
For larger sites, the Business plan includes 10,000 CMS items, 2,500 monthly form submissions, and 400GB of bandwidth at a cost of $36 per month (billed annually) or $45 month-to-month. It's extremely easy to switch between plans so start with the smallest one that fits your needs. You can always upgrade as your business grows.
Ecommerce Plans Overview
For those looking to build an online store, Webflow offers Ecommerce plans tailored to businesses of various sizes. The Standard plan comes with all CMS plan features, providing 500 ecommerce items, 2,000 CMS items and 2% transaction fees. It has an annual fee of $29 per month or a month-to-month fee of $42. This plan is just fine for small to medium-sized businesses starting their ecommerce journey.
For larger businesses, the Plus plan offers 5,000 ecommerce items, 10,000 CMS items, and 0% transaction fees at a cost of $74 per month (billed annually) or $84 month-to-month. The Advanced plan further expands on these features, allowing for 15,000 ecommerce items and no transaction fees at a cost of $212 per month (billed annually) or $235 month-to-month.
Which Webflow Ecommerce Plan should you choose? If you have fewer than 500 products, the Standard plan's almost certainly the best bet for you. If you're a larger business, go back through your online sales for the past three months and figure out what 2% of that represents. If it's more than about $150 you'd be better off with the Advanced plan because it waives the transaction fees.
Workspace Plans Overview
Unless you are a marketing agency or build Webflow sites for other businesses, these plans aren't really aimed for you. But since this is a comprehensive review of Webflow, here's an overview of these plans.
The free workspace plan offers one seat, two non-hosted sites, and two guest spots for agencies, freelancers, or contractors.
The Core tier is designed for smaller teams and is priced at $19 per month for annual payment or $28 month-to-month, including three seats, 10 non-hosted sites, and two guest spots.
The Growth tier includes:
Price: $60 per month with an annual discount of $11 per month
Seats: Nine seats
Non-hosted sites: Unlimited
Permissions: Both billing and publishing permissions
Guest slots: Two
For the largest agencies, the Enterprise tier includes:
All the features of our most powerful plan
Unlimited seats and sites
Up to 10 guests
Advanced security and performance
A dedicated customer success team
Page branching capabilities
Pricing for this tier is customized so you'll need to work with Webflow's sales team to get custom pricing.
Comparing Webflow with Other Website Builders
Even though Webflow at first glance seems comparable to other website builders such as Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress, its distinctive design capabilities and exhaustive customization options set it apart.
However, this also means that Webflow has a steeper learning curve compared to some of these these more user-friendly platforms. Despite this, for web designers and web developers who are willing to invest the time to learn the platform, Webflow can be a powerful tool for creating visually stunning and highly customized websites.
Webflow includes built-in SEO tools, recognizing the importance of search engine optimization for any website’s success by assisting users in optimizing their sites for search engines. With customizable meta tags, 301 redirects, and sitemaps, Webflow makes it easy for users to improve their website’s visibility to search engine crawlers.
A platform like Wordpress has dozens of plugins specifically designed to help with SEO, but for a high-quality out-of-the-box SEO experience, Webflow's built in functionality is excellent. To take advantage of the Webflow's SEO support you'll need in-house expertise or to hire a Webflow partner like Refresh to set up SEO properly for you, but with the right strategies and resources you can their website’s search engine rankings and attract more organic traffic.
Enabling users to link their website with vital tools and platforms, Webflow successfully integrates with a host of third-party services. With over 250 integrations available, Webflow users can easily connect their site to:
Email marketing services
Social media platforms
Customer engagement tools
However, it’s worth noting that most of Webflow’s integrations are not one-click, meaning they require additional time and effort to set up and configure. To assist users in this process, Webflow University provides tutorials and resources on how to connect various integrations and make the most of these connections for their website.
Security Measures in Webflow
Webflow prioritizes security as much as you do, treating it as a matter of utmost importance. The platform offers SSL certificates for all websites hosted on its servers, ensuring data encryption and secure connections for both site owners and visitors.
In addition to SSL certificates, Webflow provides advanced DDoS protection, regular security patches and updates, and unlimited site backups. These security measures help ensure that your website remains safe and secure, giving you peace of mind and allowing you to focus on delivering quality content and services to your audience.
Webflow for Ecommerce
Webflow presents a spectrum of Ecommerce features for those interested in establishing an online store. These features include payment processing, automatic tax calculations, and design options that can be customized for different store elements. With Webflow’s Ecommerce plans, businesses of all sizes can build a fully functional online store that caters to their specific needs.
However, it’s important to note that Webflow’s Ecommerce features may not be as advanced as those of dedicated ecommerce platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce. Webflow's support for things like annual sales and expanded product listings is more limited than platforms that focus only on online sales.
Despite these limitations, Webflow’s Ecommerce capabilities can be a suitable choice for small to medium-sized businesses looking for a visually appealing and customizable online store, because Webflow's functionality isn't limited to just online shopping.
Customer Support and Webflow University
Webflow made its mark early on with its impressive and comprehensive support, and they have maintained this strength as the company's grown. Its online learning platform, Webflow University, has a ton of self-paced resources including video tutorials, articles, and step-by-step guides. It also has an extremely active and helpful community who engage with each other through an online forum. If you have a question, chances are you'll get a response almost immediately either from Webflow staff who monitor the forum or from another customer who's experienced the same issue and solved it.
Webflow also offers email assistance to its users, promising to respond within a span of 24-48 hours. Users report that actual response time is much quicker.
Webflow's Learning Curve
As mentioned earlier, Webflow’s learning curve can be steep for beginners due to its extensive set of features. If you are starting with a template, or better yet working with an expert Webflow development partner like Refresh Digital Strategy, you'll get an excellent Webflow website without needing to master its interface. If you do decide to built your Webflow website yourself, Webflow University will be your best friend in the process.
If you put in the time, or work with an expert Webflow agency like Refresh, you'll end up with a unique, responsive website that stands out from your competition.
So Is Webflow Worth It?
As you've probably figured out by reading this article, Webflow is a unique product. It works just like a website building platform but it's got advanced features, an offering for Ecommerce websites, features for content management systems, free templates and paid templates to get you started quickly, and a free tier to let you build your site before you launch.
Having said that, there are several choices in the website builder category, so beginners or those with simpler website needs may find Webflow challenging due to its steep learning curve and pricing plans that might not fit tight budgets.
Ultimately, whether Webflow is worth it depends on your specific needs, goals, and level of experience. If you’re willing to invest the time and effort to learn the platform, Webflow can be a powerful ally in your web design arsenal.
To wrap up, Webflow offers a powerful and highly customizable website builder for web designers and developers. With its unique design capabilities, responsive templates, and extensive customization options, Webflow can help you create stunning and unique websites that truly stand out. However, its steeper learning curve and pricing plans may not suit everyone’s needs. It’s crucial to assess your requirements and weigh the pros and cons before deciding if Webflow is the right choice for your web design journey.
If you've decided Webflow's got the right features but you need a partner to help you build and launch your dream website, contact Refresh Digital Strategy, your partner in Webflow development and digital consulting. Refresh will work with you to build the perfect website for your industry and budget, and we can support you along the way with branding, SEO, and ongoing support. Contact us to get started.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Webflow actually good?
Overall, Webflow has great customization options with good SEO scores, making it a great blogging platform. However, its technical focus may be too complex for newcomers.
Do professionals use Webflow?
Webflow is a powerful and flexible website builder designed for professional web developers and designers, with more than 3,500,000 users. It provides a great platform for creating and collaborating on beautiful websites.
Is Webflow still relevant in 2023?
With more than 3,500,000 active users every month, Webflow continues to be a relevant platform for website design and development in 2023.
Is Webflow better than Wix?
For basic websites, Wix's template-based approach is the easier option; however, for those with website development experience, Webflow offers more flexibility and customizability. Ultimately, Webflow is the better choice.
What types of websites can be created using Webflow?
Webflow can be used to create unique, responsive websites for any industry or purpose, such as online stores, portfolios, blogs, and more.
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