Should you use Webflow for your website?

Let’s say that you’ve heard of webflow from a friend or colleague, who told you that you should consider having your site made in Webflow (or making it yourself). Or the agency or freelancer you’re speaking to says they want to make your site in Webflow. Should you go ahead with it?

Let’s unpack the pros and cons of Webflow to help you decide.

Pro: Webflow is a “visual” website builder; so no code needed

Just like its competitors Wix, Squarespace and all the others, Webflow allows us to build a website without needing to write any code. That means it’s much faster to make, and requires much less expertise. So it’ll also be a lot cheaper than some other ways of making websites that do require coding.

Keep in mind that just because it allows “anyone” to build a site without code doesn’t mean anyone should, because it’ll still require a professional design for the website to end up looking right.

Pro: Webflow is already hosted

Many other ways of building websites require you to download the software and install it, and then organise to have it “hosted”. With Webflow on the other hand, you pay a fixed monthly cost, and they take care of “hosting” for you. In other words, when your site is ready to go live, it just requires a click of the “Publish” button.

Pro: Webflow works the same way as industry-standard coding languages

In many ways, building with Webflow is like using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, which professional web developers all over the world use to build websites with. We don’t need to know these languages, but being familiar with them helps a lot. This means that any web developer you hire will be able to learn how to build sites with Webflow super quickly if they don’t already know. It means that you’ll never be tied to using a particular developer.

Pro: Webflow has a fantastic CMS built in

A CMS is a content management system, which basically allows you as the website owner (or manager) to log in and easily edit webpages, blog posts, products, and any other “types of content”. If your web developer uses the CMS, when you’re logged in, you’ll be able to click “Posts” for example, then click “Add new post” or “Edit” for an existing one, then simply fill in the form and click “save”.

This makes it much easier for you and your team to update the site yourselves, and each post / page / piece of content will be consistent. For example, all posts might have a title, a subtitle, a body of formatted text, a featured image, and tags.

Con: It can be difficult or impossible to add advanced custom features

While other ways of building websites, like WordPress, have thousands of plugins for you to choose from to extend your site with any functionality you can possibly think of, Webflow doesn’t have the same degree of flexibility.

For example, if you want your site to integrate with another piece of software you use - like your accounting software - it’s very unlikely that Webflow will have an extension for that. Essentially, Webflow is great for traditional websites, but it’s difficult to make it work with other software / sites / apps you use.

Con: Webflow isn’t open-source or free

Webflow has a simple monthly fee, with a few tiers depending on which features you want. If you ever stop paying the monthly fee, your site will no longer be live / available on the internet.

This isn’t the case with some other ways of building websites that use free and open-source software. With those ways of building a website, when it’s complete, you own it forever, and you only need to pay for “hosting” (and there are thousands of hosting companies to choose from).

Conclusion

Webflow is wonderful software to build websites with. It fits nicely between the simple “online site builders” like Wix and Squarespace (it’s far more flexible and powerful than them - especially with its CMS), and full-featured CMSs like Drupal and WordPress (it’s much easier and faster to build sites with than them).

If you need a great website for your business and don’t have a huge budget, Webflow might be just right for you.

If you'd like to know more about it, check out our other article, What is Webflow? which goes into a lot more detail.


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