At present day, due to the effect of Covid – 19, most people tend to run businesses online, especially on websites. 40% of all websites on the Internet use WordPress technology. In spite of the familiar platform for users, there is also a better solution out there for building websites. And in this article, we’ll dive deep into one called “Fan favorite website builder”, which is Webflow.
What is Webflow?
Essentially, WordPress and Webflow are both website building platforms. However, with the ease of use and great customer support, Webflow maintains popularity worldwide for new designers who don't have much development skills.
At first, let’s start with the basics:
A website builder is an online platform giving anyone accessibility to create their own website, without having to use code.
Several leaders like Wix, Weebly and Squarespace have brought reputation for web creation online. They’re a website builder, but Webflow carries a level of customization and power that is often reserved for the likes of WordPress.
For that reason, online website builders attract more web designers. It's a great idea for those who don’t want to bother with all the foggy code, but need a platform that’s fully customizable on the other side.
Reason to use Webflow?
1. Design with only one process
As a web designer, you always follow a structure that cannot be detached: Creating wireframes, mock-up UI, send it to the developer and pray that everything is alright. This process will be back and forth several times if you want to make sure the developer executes on your design vision.
But with Webflow, the process can be skipping easily because you can now design and build a website within one tool. Designers just drag and put elements on to the canvas, drop them anywhere, and then the website automatically responsive with fully HTML suit any screen sizes. All you need to do is adjust a few element styles with right-panel tools to work with.
2. Clean code only
3. Responsive design
Webflow provides over 100 templates for you to play with. You can simply filter templates that suit your imagination, free/premium or ecommerce. Furthermore, you can even preview the designs before making a decision whether to use it or not.
All of Webflow’s templates are responsive, meaning you don’t have to worry about adjusting it to fit different screen sizes. Just easily click on any of the break points to see how your design transforms from desktop to mobile and to tablet and so forth.
4. Advanced SEO Tool
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of ranking your site’s content to a higher level in results of Google and Bing Search. Most platforms go on with the same process: edit metadata, alt text image, more value target by keywords. Webflow gives you a quick access to all SEO configuration needs. For example, CMS content, meta title and meta descriptions are automatically created based on what you created.
Also, Webflow offers an automatic generating sitemap and customizable 301 redirects options.
5. Extra Support
In general, like others website builders. Webflow always hints you with tutorials and guides, you can easily find it at Webflow center, Webflow University, Webflow blog, forum or community. Moreover, the team support of Webflow is available 24/7 to answer any questions you have. It’s easy to search, and generally be the 1ST place you have to look around if you get stuck.
Webflow Core Features
Design is something Webflow clearly helps you a lot. In terms of keeping your website on trends, there’s still a whole bunch of features you can add to your website. Let’s scan over some great feature that Webflow is known for:
1. Flexbox and CSS Grid
Both elements in a website layout are useful in shaping content and graphic, but each of them have their own methods, like how to use them together, applying to your own web designs.
Before all these new definitions, designers stuck with CSS floats in their efforts to layout websites, with no guarantee it would work on different screen sizes. Then, Flexbox came out from the lights, which allowed users to create grid layouts dimensional and continuing to develop since then.
Flexbox was developed to align content easier by using vertically or horizontally, one-dimensional layouts. And, elements in flexbox can adjust their height and width to fit in with different screen sizes.
Working with flexbox and grid without thinking about the syntax is very satisfying. Do you refer to remembering the property names and values, and clicking buttons to deal with alignment and spacing, or using tools on the canvas directly.
CSS Grid gives you permission to control over grid-template columns and rows, even more complex layouts than flexbox. Because it organizes content on both vertical and horizontal. There are no elements wrapping like we usually see in the flexbox.
At first, CSS grid layout lookalike flexbox setting, but the difference is it allows you to change the alignment and how they’re displayed. It works best for more complicated layouts.
Practically, CSS grid layouts have multiple blocks of content and images that need to be organized. On the other hand, Flexbox isn’t useful as Grid layouts because of their limitation of arranging single direction.
Of course, with experience on CSS, designers can work together in a layout. You can put a flexbox inside the CSS grid or vice versa.
For instance: By centering an element button both vertically and horizontally, you might use flexbox as a grid layout method, since centering with CSS method is very tricky to use.
And flipping this scenario, using grid layout to control the placement of information in a card box. This method brings many great effects for combining the flexibility of flexbox and the accuracy of CSS grid.
2. Solving Publish Problem
When you’re complete with designing in Webflow, you don’t have to hand it for developer to build elsewhere. The next step is just hit the publish button and wait for it live at a URL in minutes. In spare time, you can map any other domains to it. There Are no security problems, no SFTP and no software update required for the website.
3. Animation Tool is Next Level
We have all been waiting for this for a long time, and now it finally happens. Introducing Parallax scrolling, multi-step animations, and tiny interactions are just a few cool animations you can create with Webflow.
Fun fact, all of Webflow’s own marketing sites are built with Webflow. There also presets to help you along, and next-level stuff like mind-bending Lottie animations. For those who didn’t know, Lottie is an open-source animation such as giphy gif including high quality image but tiny capacity.
4. The Power of Webflow’s CMS
We already talk about how CMS is good for SEO websites, Webflow has a built-in CMS that is powerful like other platforms. You can configure the exact content model that you would need without any code required.
Perhaps the best thing that can happen is that creating and editing data becomes possible, just through a small interface right on the site and that’s all you need to do. A Small bar at the bottom allows you editing content as an admin interface. So, it’s the best of both worlds as I may say, live site editing and admin editing.
1. Multiple Payment Option
Webflow accepts not just standard payment like credit and debit card, but it also accepts payment through third-party online payment such as Apple Pay, Stripe and PayPal.
2. Social Media Integrations
Facebook and Instagram shops are the best place for syncing your products. Not only it lets you cross-sell through your social channels and website, it also allows clients to invest smarter marketing campaigns.
What benefits does Webflow bring to customers?
Clearly — If you’re a designer, Webflow is obviously a step forward in your career. You’ll be able take your design and make it live. Not with prototypes mockup but actually live. Just simple is that. Of course, you have to learn some basic things for your own cost but in general, this is the future. Personally, everything in a project can be done by only yourself, researching – designing – to an actual working project.
1. Designers :
Every designer knows when they finally see the live website after months of designing over mocks, only to think, “This looks….different”. And when designers and developers don’t have the same point of view, there would create a gap between what clients design approval for and a fully developed website.
But when only designers are working with Webflow, including HTML, CSS, and JS, they can produce pixel-perfect designs by themselves, closing the gap between design and development.
Designers actually work with their creativity, opening their mind to build more interaction sites. This way is easier to communicate with their mind. By giving designers tools to create their unique interactions, form button animations to parallax scrolling sections. At last, the tools have an ability to launch designer imagination as soon as they get used to it.
One important thing which benefits designers the most is probably reducing dramatically development time. Create values for your clients by managing the project schedule and working with other tasks like SEO and design.
2. Customers :
It’s always a tough decision when dealing with a live site from static mockups. A static mockup just tells half the story, creates a gap between these two elements and lets your clients feel inconsistent with our work.
By all means, Webflow gives your client a quick “run through” a live prototype, to experience the design before “put the pencil down” on it. This will boost their confidence, plus set more connected expectations for designers and the client.
Secondly, you have the opportunity to finalize projects faster without removing any quality content. This allows designers to shorten launch time and client approval with the latest version sites.
Thirdly, with Webflow CMS, designers can prevent breaking elements with customized processes while can choose exact elements that clients need to modify. Clients have the ability to comment on which elements need to be fixed with Webflow’s Editor, without collapsing the website.
Of course, The Editor available much more than just edit content. It also manages dynamic collections, which give clients permission to publish blog posts, case studies and even new products.
3. Business :
Webflow improves your relationships with clients. While opening up more opportunities for clients on redesigning, updating and changing their future website, designers also increase the turnaround time for their customers to repeat using Webflow.
By cutting almost 50% time for both design and development, your business will have more space to invest back into the client and more possibilities for growth and exploration of the market. And who doesn't want more time?
Webflow makes it easier to work in a team, they can both design and develop at the same time. Obviously, not only you can save on budget, but you can also scout for a fresh designing/developing experience to grow your business.
If you are always looking for shortcuts to increase your productivity, Webflow is a great fit for your investment. Don’t worry anything if you are neither “hard-coding” or “backend-experts”, this website builders help function the website perfectly and your client will never notice any minor changes.
As many small and local businesses are shifting their operations online, we can already see the competition level rise continuously. The good news is that there are a bunch of tools out there that help you succeed, Webflow is not an exception. By using it on ecommerce websites, owners can navigate customers faster to what they're looking for and intentionally spend cash on products.
At the end, Socialectric fill-up all of those requirements. Our company is a Saigon-based Digital Agency that aims for the perfect experience in the digital world. We’re specialized in building websites using online website builders, including Webflow. Come and have a look at our previous projects. Contact us and see how we work.