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Why Webflow Is the Best Web Design Program Right Now

It appears that website builders are an ounce of gold these times. To be honest most of them are simply awful.

Sure, they’ll work right for the average user who wants to quickly have a personal site up and running … however, for anything remotely similar to professional usage it’s best to look for something else.

Webflow is an exceptional exception to the rule. It was designed using the “code-first” concept, Webflow is an all-in-one web design tool that lets users to design, create and launch responsive websites in a visual manner.

After using the platform on a regular basis for the last year and having also tried a few other options, I am sure Webflow is the best. Webflow is without doubt the best website builder that is currently available.

Does it look perfect? Absolutely not. There are a few things I’d like changed regarding the software if I had the chance and I’ll mention a few examples below.

However Webflow is an excellent tool that allows designers to make their mockups come to life without the need to engage the assistance of a front-end designer or depend on low-quality DIY software.

What is Webflow?

It was launched in 2013 as a grad of the Y Combinator accelerator for startups Webflow was launched in 2013 as a drag-and-drop tool that allows you to create fast and responsive websites without the need to code.

It aims to fill in the gap that exists between DIY software such as Wix and Squarespace and more traditional systems for managing content (CMS) such as WordPress and real Web development that is front-end.

It’s also designed to outdo all of them in terms of convenience and flexibility as well as performance. And in this way, it’s efficient.

Here’s how it is able to achieve all that.

Designer and Editor

Webflow Designer is a web-based interface that Webflow Designer is an interface that resembles Photoshop. It lets users create semantic markup by dropping and dragging HTML components onto canvas, and then creating styling CSS properties.

Contrary to the widely terrible markups created by DIY website builders and all-in-one WordPress themes such as Divi, Webflow exports W3C-compliant code that can be immediately installed as-is or passed off to developers to further customize.

The Designer interface can be a bit complicated and can be overwhelming for users who have no prior experience in fundamental development. However, overcoming the initial learning curve can be extremely rewarding due to the lessons it can offer users.

For example, designing webflow-based designs Webflow is a process that requires (and in turn encourages) thinking less as a graphic designer, but more like an experienced front-end developer.

Instead of “absolutely placing” an array of elements on a blank piece of users design and elements that create CSS classes and use modern layout programs such as grid and flexbox. All this with a visually WYSIWYG editor.

This is why designing with Webflow and the great tutorials available on Webflow University — could be an excellent way for designers seeking to enter the world of front-end development.

Furthermore, the platform also includes an Editor that is streamlined and is able to be used by users for basic editing of their websites … but without destroying the structure of the website when doing so!

Webflow CMS

While creating a blog using Webflow could require more upfront effort than an native blogging platform, such as WordPress but the end result will be well worthwhile.

Because WordPress despite all its strengths, hasn’t truly excelled in terms the ease of use or customization.

The majority of users are stuck with the default template and styles. Therefore, the ability to customize certain elements, like post fields, require the use of third-party plugins or manually editing the template files.

Webflow CMS is, in contrast claims to be “the world’s most advanced visually-based content management software” that lets designers define the style and structure of their content, without tinkering with plugins PHP databases, or plugins.

The content can be created by hand or transferred from an .CSV file or added using the Webflow CMS API.

Users can create collections or reusable templates to create dynamic content types. For instance, a website could include collections of blog posts, authors, customers products, projects categories, and more.

It’s like having all the benefits of using a databasebut without having to manage the database on your own!

Interactions 2.0

My opinion is that this is probably the most exciting feature Webflow is currently offering … however, even when it is one of the most annoying.

Do you need Webflow London? Get in touch today.

The first version was released in the latter half of 2017, Interactions 2.0 allows designers to design individual CSS changes and JavaScript animations based on the page’s state or user interaction.

It’s basically an attempt to significantly simplify the process of JavaScript manipulation of DOM — and, for most of the time it succeeds.

The creation of Webflow interactions is more simple (and quicker!) than creating customized JavaScript animations. Even after the most recent upgrade, the experience isn’t the most intuitive to do.

If you’ve never dealt with code before, specifically JavaScript this feature could be the most difficult difficulty when studying Webflow … therefore prepare yourself for that.

But, you can still create amazing animations using this program, if you are willing to study the basics of it. (Just look at the landing page that promotes Interactions 2.0!)

Hosting and deployment

Webflow hosting is managed by the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud computing platform, and is supported by the world’s largest media distribution system (CDN) operated through Fastly as well as Amazon Cloudfront.

The result is a lightning-fast loading of pages and peace of mind that comes without needing to worry about server maintenance or updates to PHP.

All hosting plans come equipped with free SSL certificates, HTTP/2 compliance, site search, form control, password protection, an automatically-generated sitemap, and automatic backups.

The biggest drawback of this? Webflow’s hosting isn’t affordable, though it’s still lower than what you’d spend with other managed hosting companies like WPEngine or Kinsta.

“Basic” or “Basic” plan for hosting costs you $15 per month, and it includes the majority of available features. However, in order to utilize Webflow CMS, you’ll have pay the additional money for the cost of $20 per year for the “CMS” Hosting plan.

It’s a good thing However, if you decide you don’t think these strategies are suitable for you (or even if you do not want to invest the cash) there’s nothing to worry about!

Since all websites are built in the basic HTML, CSS, and JavaScript which means that you’re not bound to a specific design or platform. Simply download your website’s files and then deploy it to the hosting provider you’d like.

Ecommerce (beta)

The most recent — and most anticipated update to Webflow’s suite of tools, Ecommerce was released as public beta in November last year.

It is able to differentiate itself from similar restricted platforms such as Shopify and WooCommerce Webflow Ecommerce allows the full customization of every aspect of the design of an average online store.

This includes galleries, product pages and categories webpages, carts for shopping along with checkout and product pages. When you use Webflow, it’s not restricted to any type of already-designed Ecommerce structure!

The same degree of customisation using tools such as Shopify will require thousands of dollars each month on the Shopify Plus plan and then spending the time to get familiar with your self with its Liquid the templating language.

The platform also offers an easy solution to manage complicated administrative tasks like the definition of shipping areas as well as calculating taxes as well as managing inventory and fulfillment.

As it’s in the beta stage, Webflow Ecommerce is still not able to provide the core functionality that you would expect from a fully-featured Ecommerce solution. PayPal support isn’t there yet for instance.

However, this is being considered. Other developments in the near future are the support of digital goods, customers’ accounts, subscriptions as well as a wide range of variants for products.

The Final Verdict

Different from the plethora of cheap DIY design tools currently available in the market, Webflow provides a powerful solution that is suitable for the majority of professional website design and design requirements.

These features, such as such as Webflow Designer, CMS, and Ecommerce enable users to quickly create fully-featured, efficient websites, without the need to be able to code or work with developers.

It does have disadvantages, such as the interface for animations that is not intuitive and a limited Ecommerce features. However it’s the most effective design platform currently available on the market and worth your time and attention.

This is the case no matter if you’re an experienced web designer or an owner of a business looking for a stronger customized, flexible, and reliable solution for your online presence.