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An introduction to Webflow – the no-code website builder.

Craig Greenup 03/01/24, 08:43

An introduction to Webflow – the no-code website builder

Webflow is a platform for building websites. If you’re wondering whether you should use it to build your next business website, take a look at this post first. Here we explore:

  • What is Webflow?
  • What does Webflow cost?
  • Pros and cons of Webflow
  • Webflow vs WordPress

What is Webflow?

Webflow is an online website-building platform. It’s a visual website builder that allows you to create a website without any coding knowledge.

Unlike some other website builders, you get a lot of control over how you style your website. You pick a template, drag and drop elements, then customise.

Webflow automatically translates your visual design into HTML, CSS and JavaScript code. Web developers can dive into this code to edit and create specific features. But you don’t have to do this to create a functional site.

Business owners and web agencies can use Webflow to create all kinds of websites. Ecommerce websites. Brochure sites. Portfolios. Booking sites. You name it.

What does Webflow cost?

You can build a Webflow staging site for free. This means you can explore Webflow capabilities before handing over any cash. But when you want to properly launch your website, you’re better off moving over to a paid plan.

Webflow charges users a monthly or yearly fee. Hosting is included. But on some ecommerce site plans, you pay transaction fees, too.

There are lots of plans to choose from – some for business owners and some for web agencies. Prices start from around £11 per month and go up to around £170 per month for big ecommerce sites.

The more you pay, the more features, capabilities and functionality you get. For example, the top tier ecommerce plan supports 15,000 products and 15 staff accounts. The lowest tier ecommerce plan supports 500 products and 3 staff accounts.

Pros and cons of Webflow

So why would you (or your web agency) decide to use Webflow ahead of the other website platforms out there? As part of our introduction to Webflow, we’ve put together these pros and cons of using the platform.

Pro: You don’t necessarily need a developer

Webflow is marketed as a no-code website builder. To get every design feature and function you want, you may prefer to work with a developer. But if your needs are pretty straightforward, you can use Webflow to build a decent DIY website.

Con: There’s a steep learning curve

Webflow’s drag-and-drop interface is easy when you understand it. But there’s definitely a steep learning curve. Business owners building a DIY website – and web designers without any development knowledge – may struggle at first.

Pro: It speeds up the web design and development process

With an easy-to-use visual interface, Webflow cuts down development time. This means you can get a finished Webflow website, fast. An experienced developer may be able to create a site in a couple of weeks.

Con: It can be costly

You pay ongoing costs for a Webflow website. The monthly fee varies depending on how big and complex your site is – and whether you want to include ecommerce functions. Hosting and a domain are included. But there are definitely cheaper options out there.

Pro: There’s lots of functionality

With Webflow, it’s easy to create features and functionality for your website. Webflow websites are responsive and accessible. They tend to have clean code, which is good for SEO. Web designers find it easy to build interactions, animations, forms and pop-ups, controlling everything from the same visual builder.

Pro: No plugins

Unlike WordPress, a Webflow website doesn’t rely on plugins. You can build a functional website using in-built platform tools. This means you don’t need to update and manage plugins once your website is live.

Con: No plugins

If you don’t know how to code, you won’t have total control over your Webflow website design. Without the option of plugins, you’re limited to the functionality provided. Unless you get a developer to make additions.

Pro: Collaboration is easy

Because Webflow is such a visual web design platform, collaboration is super easy. Clients get to see a working prototype early in the process. Designers and developers find it easy to communicate ideas. Teams can also work on a project simultaneously, which means one person can upload content while another builds the site.

Webflow vs WordPress

Webflow is one of many website builders already available. So how does it compare to the most popular alternative – WordPress?

Ease of use

Once you’ve mastered its interface, Webflow is easy to use. You can choose from a selection of templates and themes, then drag and drop elements.

WordPress has drag-and-drop editors but they’re not as intuitive as Webflow so you’re more likely to need the support of web designers and developers.


Website updates

Both platforms provide a user-friendly content management system (CMS). It’s easy to update both Webflow and WordPress websites once your site is live.


Customisation

WordPress has a much bigger selection of website themes and templates for you to choose from.

Customising those themes when you don’t have coding knowledge is a challenge. But get the support of a web developer and designer and you can create an on-brand website that looks completely unique.

Webflow offers a lot of flexibility in terms of customisation. But there are still limitations to what you can do without coding knowledge.


Functionality

Webflow provides a lot of in-built functions for you to choose from. But depending on how complex and bespoke a site you need, you may need to add snippets of code to get extra features and functions. The platform doesn’t provide plugins in the same way as WordPress.

Over on WordPress, there’s a plugin for pretty much everything. This makes it great for functionality and integrations. You can get your website to do exactly what you want it to do.


Hosting

When you launch a WordPress website you – or your web design agency – is responsible for organising hosting.

With a Webflow website, hosting via Amazon Web Services (AWS) is included in the monthly cost. Alternatively, you can export your code and host it on a server of your choice. But the consensus seems to be that Webflow websites work best when you use Webflow servers.


Pricing

WordPress is technically free to use. But you’ll pay for your domain and hosting, plus any premium plugins and themes. Still, WordPress is likely to involve lower running costs than a Webflow site.

Final thoughts

Webflow is another exciting tool in the web design and development landscape. But, as with any tech tool, it has strengths and weaknesses.

With a no-code, visual builder, business owners may find it easier to build a DIY website. However, for total control over design, functionality and capability, you may want to get development support or choose a different platform altogether.

Here at Radical, we have years of experience helping clients find the web technologies that best meet their needs. If you want to ace your business goals with a new website, get in touch for a chat with our team.