Webflow is a responsive website builder, suited for design professionals looking to create stunning websites without having to deal with code. It packs two powerful site-building tools, a solid template library, and eCommerce capabilities – all in one platform.
This is not your regular drag-and-drop website builder that’s all over YouTube ads. Webflow aims to please the upper echelon of users: it offers intricate editing tools and is suited for design-savvy professionals, freelancers, and agencies – people making websites not only for themselves but also a wide range of clients.
Naturally, you expect a tool like this to be an awful, confusing mess, entirely unsuited for beginners. And on the first look, you’d be excused to think like that.
The pricing is difficult to understand, and the designer tool looks awfully overcrowded.
But when you look deeper, you can see that Webflow does an excellent job making difficult things as simple as possible. When I went out and made my own website with Webflow (I’ll show it later!), I ended up feeling very impressed by the platform’s capabilities.
Webflow will either teach you website design, or help you use your existing design skills to make beautiful websites. It’s a bit on the expensive side – but the value you get and the time you save are both pretty good.
You can go straight to the conclusion by clicking here.
|Ease of use||Steep learning curve made very easy|
|Templates||Many modern templates – most of them paid|
|Business features||Good in-house eCommerce|
|Performance||Fits the required standards|
|Current deal:||Get excellent website design tools from $12 a month|
Pros and cons of Webflow
- Excellent website design capabilities
- Two intutive interfaces for different types of editing
- Solid selection of custom themes and designs
- Quite expensive
- The learning curve is seriously steep
What is Webflow?
At its core, Webflow is still just a platform allowing to design, build, and manage incredibly extensive websites. But it looks unlike most other options in the market.
That’s mostly thanks to the fact that this platform gives you access to two different tools – the Webflow Designer and the Webflow CMS (Content Management System). Let’s take a closer look at what these are, and how can they help you build and manage a site.
The Webflow Designer is Webflow’s flagship feature that enables you to build a website fairly easily – and with coding knowledge entirely optional. The interface looks a little bit like Photoshop. And it looks similarly daunting, especially if you’ve never used a similar design tool.
However, it’s a very powerful design tool, letting you make professional, modern, and completely custom websites.
If you have no experience with web design, there will be a learning curve. It’s unavoidable – you’ll need to devote some time to get comfortable with this tool.
Webflow Editor (CMS)
Webflow editor helps you, or really, anyone to manage the site and its content without having to deal with the Designer.
There are plenty of things to do with the website that don’t include design. Think things like blogging, or changing the website copy. For that, Webflow has a separate tool, known either as Webflow Editor, or Webflow CMS.
The Editor allows any of the contributors to edit, and add content to the website. When it’s opened, it allows users to edit and change some of the content.
However, most of the major changes: blogging, adding additional elements, team members, etc., are done using the Collections. Think of them as a bridge between content creators and designers.
As a designer fittingly uses the Designer to make a new collection, they set up specific information that has to be added. For instance, a blog post can include a title, summary, post body, featured image, or other similar content.
Then, using the Editor, contributors fill in the blanks and can easily add content to the website. Here is how a “Blog Posts” collection with some blog posts will look like from the editor.
You can use the Designer without the Editor. But not the other way around. Editor is an additional tool to the Designer, making adding and managing content a lot easier.
If you’re only looking to create a simple website without any need for a content management system, you can do just that with the Webflow Designer. But if you have a big, everchanging website, and want to make the best out of both design and dynamic content, Webflow has the workflow for you.
Webflow offers a rather tricky pricing system – that means two different categories of pricing, and two completely different types of plans.
They’re called Site plans and Account plans. Let’s look at these in more detail.
There are 6 total Webflow Site Plans available: their pricing ranges from $12 to $212 a month. All of these plans are for one website each, meaning that you’ll need to buy a new Site plan if you decide to build a new Webflow project.
You can choose between four options:
|Basic||Option for making simple sites||$12/month|
|CMS||Best for content sites, including both Designer and Editor tools – get the best deal HERE!||$16/month|
|Business||Suited for higher-traffic sites||$36/month|
|Standard||CMS plan, including some additional eCommerce features||$29/month|
|Plus||All the Business plan features, plus eCommerce with up to 1,000 items||$74/month|
|Advanced||All the Business plan features, eCommerce items increased to 3,000||$212/month|
Three of the plans are made for regular websites.
- The Basic plan costs $12 a month. It does not include the Editor capabilities. There’s only the Designer tool.
It allows for 25,000 monthly visits, 100 form submissions, and 50 GB CDN bandwidth.
- The CMS plan costs $16 a month, adds Editor capabilities with 3 editors, and allows for 100,000 monthly visitors.
Form submissions are increased to 1,000/month, you can add 2,000 CMS collection items, and CDN bandwidth is now 200 GB.
- The Business plan costs $36/month, allows for 10 editors, 500,000 monthly visits.
There are also 2,000 form submissions, CDN is increased to 400 GB, and CMS collection items – to 10,000.
Here are the eCommerce plans, opening up the capabilities for using the Webflow site to sell online.
- The Standard plan is $29/month. It is basically the CMS plan, but you can also add up to 500 items.
There will be a 2% transaction fee, and the yearly sales volume is capped to $50k.
- The Plus plan costs $74/month. It has all the features available in the Business plan. Plus, you can add up to 1,000 items.
There’s no transaction fee. The sales volume is up to $200k.
- The Advanced plan costs $212/month. It also takes all the features from the Business plan, but the cap for items is increased to 3,000.
There’s no transaction fee, and also no cap for sales volume. You can add up to 15 staff accounts, as well.
Which Site plan is the best for you? Well – for regular sites, CMS plan is my favorite in terms of value for money. And if you’re selling online, the Plus plan is best – mostly thanks to the fact there’s no transaction fee.
But there’s still some more stuff to cover here…
The Account plans do not include site hosting. Instead, they focus on letting you build several custom websites – either for yourself or your clients. These plans are excellent for freelancers or designers who build several websites but don’t necessarily look to actively host them.
They can still be published, via a webflow.io domain, but a Site plan is required in order to put them on a separate domain.
You can choose between four options:
You can choose between four options:
|Starter||Option for making simple sites||$0.00|
|Lite||Suited for higher-traffic sites||$16/month|
|Pro||CMS plan, including some additional eCommerce features||$35/month|
|Team||All the Business plan features, plus eCommerce with up to 1,000 items||$35/person/month|
- The Starter plan is a free plan all Webflow Site plan users will be assigned automatically.
You can do 2 projects on one account, and bill your clients separately for hosting (so you don’t pay for hosting from your own pocket).
- The Lite plan ($16/month) allows for 10 projects on one account.
With it, you can export your website as clean HTML and CSS code to host elsewhere. Also, it allows to transfer a project to a separate Webflow account.
- The Pro plan ($35/month) allows to make unlimited projects.
It also includes white-labeling, allowing you to completely remove Webflow’s branding from the editing dashboard, billing, and staging sites.
The Team plan is the same as a Pro plan – but it allows teams to add more people, and for them to work collectively in one dashboard. The pricing is per user – and it’s fairly steep at $35 a person a month.
Another thing worth keeping in mind is that the prices here are for annual billing cycles. If you purchase a monthly plan, you’ll end up paying substantially more in the long run. The standard eCommerce plan, for instance, jumps from $29/month on the annual plan to $42/month on the monthly plan – an increase of over 40%.
Overall, once you get the hang of Webflow’s pricing structure, you’ll come to appreciate the variety of plans available. While the plans can get quite expensive pretty quickly, they offer a decent array of features. For all – personal users, web designers, and online sales pros.
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Is Webflow easy to use?
- Getting started – the setup process is very straightforward. You sign up, answer a few questions, go through a short onboarding tutorial, and you’re ready to go.
- Working with the Designer – There’s quite a bit of a learning curve, especially if you don’t have any web design skills. However, if you’re willing to take the time to skill up, you’ll find it to be quite easy to work with.
- Working with the Editor – The Editor is intuitive and the project settings are straightforward and easy to configure.
Now, there’s something important to note – while I dabbled a fair amount in doing wireframing, editing styles, and basic coding, I am still not a professional website developer. But I’ll try as open and informative as I can for all types of users here.
And honestly, I found Webflow to be pretty easy to use. It’s not as easy as many other website builders, it will take a while to learn all the intricacies, but with a helpful tutorial and lessons from the Webflow University, I had virtually no issues. Webflow has a chance to be easy to use: for both beginners, website-making pros, and everyone in between.
To do that, for this Webflow review, I built my own website. It’s here – have a look. Click on the image to open the full site.
Here’s how everything went down:
Getting started with Webflow
After signing up with Webflow, I was thrown immediately into a quick questionnaire, which tried to set everything up, depending on my preferences and experience level.
The question are basic, asking about the goals for a website, your experience, and similar:
After all of that is set up, I was offered an opportunity to take part in a quick onboarding tutorial. I heavily suggest you to take part in this tutorial. It’s very well-made and helps to understand most of the platform’s basics.
Once that is done….I was done! And now, I could crack on with this Webflow review by building my website.
Building a Webflow website
A Webflow website is built inside the Webflow Designer interface. It uses a Sections system, in which you can add various Elements.
On the left, there’s a row including several site management options. From the selections here, it is possible to add elements, manage pages, view and add various assets, and manage the added content Collections. These options can also be accessed by quick, one-button shortcuts.
On the right are all of your site design options. This is where you can design each and every of your elements, edit their settings, manage styles, and also add various interactions, i.e. what happens what a user hovers on clicks on a specific element.
The concept of adding and managing elements is quite simple and interesting. You can choose either from several pre-made elements to add into your sections and build custom layouts.
Or alternatively, you can choose from some of the pre-made layouts, to seriously streamline the entire design process.
All of these elements and layouts follow a box style. So, wile you can drag and drop them on your site, you will have be slightly restricted on where everything could be placed at first. However, it does make sense – it’s the best way to make a website that looks good on all sorts of devices.
Speaking of which, at the top, you can also easily see how the website will look on different display sizes. The styles cascade down, so you can easily do adjustments for a PC, tablet, or phone, without accidentally breaking everything in sight.
The content is edited via an Editor interface. This is where all the less-designey (is that a word? Should be!) matters of the website will be resolved. It can be accessed by clicking the Webflow icon and picking the available option.
Designers can easily set various elements of the site as editable on the Editor, or not. Those that are, will be able to be changed from this interface right here:
I found the editing to be pretty intuitive: changing copy or images, adding links, and doing similar minor stuff was super simple and required no further explanation. Besides, the Editor was also very smooth and had no performance issues, even on my 3-year-old Macbook Air running 3 Chrome windows with 10 tabs each.
The major website changes can be done using the ribbon below. Here the contributors can manage pages, and do things like add password protection, or edit their SEO settings
It’s also where editors can manage Collections – groups of content. That can be blog posts, team members, menus, or something similar to that.
This is also where all the blogging will be done from. A separate “Blog Posts” tab will show all of the published posts.
There’s also a Forms section for checking all the information sent by the users.
If all of this sounds just a little too complicated – no worries. Simply sign up for Webflow University!
It’s Webflow’s internal tutorial platform that explains all the ins and outs of the system, better than I even could. There are quick guides on explaining the platform, tutorials to solve specific issues, and even learning courses, great if you wish to become an even better web designer.
I’m a proud alumnus.
Of course, I do recommend to tart with the beginner course, that will explain what Webflow is, and what can you do with it. The videos are short, sweet, and packed with information. All of them are also transcribed, making them a bit easier to follow step-by-step.
I brought this up here for a reason. Webflow can get a little tricky to use, but the main “trickiness” comes merely from lack of knowledge about the platform or design specifics.
Thanks to the excellent learning platform, Webflow is as easy to use as physically possible. With so much creative freedom and so many capabilities, it just about reaches the ceiling of how easy a platform can be.
- How many templates? Webflow offers a library of over 500 templates, including more than 40 free ones.
- How good are they? The free ones a bit more basic, but still entirely functional and modern. The premium themes look excellent.
- How much do they cost? The premium templates generally cost between $30 and $80. Some go up to around $150.
Webflow offers a solid selection of themes, separated into 16 different categories.
Overall, I find the templates modern, and actually quite beautiful. And there’s another interesting thing: many of these themes come with additional sections, layout, and even demo landing pages. By picking a theme, you’ll also get a selection of elements that fit within its style.
On the theme list, there were also these small grey icons: they indicate whether the theme is CMS Editor friendly, eCommerce friendly, or includes several different layouts for you to pick from.
Here a couple of my favorites:
The free themes aren’t quite as striking, but are still perfectly capable:
Overall, when it comes to templates, Webflow ticks pretty much all the right boxes. You get a wide variety of nice-looking, responsive templates to choose from and most of them are reasonably priced. I do wish that more of them were free – but that’s the only issue here.
Webflow business features
- eCommerce – Webflow’s eCommerce tools are easy to use and capable enough for the needs of most users.
- Third-party integrations – Webflow allows to easily connect marketing and analytics tools, as well as offers some third-party tools.
Webflow, at its core, is a business tool. And so, it has plenty of tools to sell online, do online marketing, or make a lot of other stuff happen – thanks to a pretty expansive third-party integrations market.
Webflow has an eCommerce tool baked right into the Designer interface.
While the plans that allow it are fairly expensive ($29/month with a 2% transaction fee, $74/month without), the experience is polished and easy to use. To get started, I just had to go through a couple of mandatory steps in order to properly configure everything.
Think of stuff like adding an address for your business, shipping methods, payment gateways, and the products you want to sell.
Once the configuring is done, it’ll be publishing time. The eCommerce collections work just like regular CMS collections. However, they have some required eCommerce-specific fields such as ‘Price’.
And on the Editor, you can quickly see categories, orders, set discounts, and manage the products as well.
Other eCommerce features include automatic tax calculations, integration with Facebook and Instagram, and multiple payment options. Webflow may not be an eCommerce juggernaut, but honestly, the features provided are perfectly enough for building online marketplaces.
Webflow has a pretty big community, full of excellent developers. And so, it’s no surprise to see that it has a pretty massive third-party integration library. It covers fields, such as eCommerce, maps, multilanguage and localization tools, and even music streaming.
In fact, some of those integrations aren’t even integrations. For instance, a Shopify integration is nothing but a tutorial, showcasing how to use Webflow’s platform to seamlessly connect it to Shopify, with no additional piece of software. Some, like Privado, simply sent me to their product’s landing page and offered to schedule a demo.
I did have a bit of an issue with that: I wish it was clearer as to what type of integration each one is. Maybe a rating system would’ve been nice, too. But apart from that, I find the integration market to be a fairly useful tool. Think of it as a knowledge base on how to use certain tools to get specific results.
Mind you, some things on Webflow can be added straight from the site settings menu: like Google Analytics, Google Optimize, Google Maps, or Facebook pixel – allowing to quickly see website’s performance and marketing data.
Overall, Webflow’s business features are fairly interesting. The eCommerce is simple and intuitive, analytics and marketing integrations are baked right in, and a big integrations library will serve as a guiding light for expanding the website even further.
I wish the integrations library was a bit less of mess, but other than that – I’m pretty happy.
Website builder may not be known for their excellent speed. But hey – Webflow is no ordinary website builder. For this final part of the Webflow review, I checked out the platform’s speed with GTMetrix, a tool that measures site speed and platform optimization.
These were the results:
Now, it’s important to note – this was tested on a stock installation of Webflow and did no cleaning up or optimization for perfect performance. With that, a total load time of 2.4 seconds is actually pretty good.
Webflow has decent performance. It could be be better, but you can always minimize the website to improve it. Or just host it elsewhere!
Alternatives to Webflow
Of course, Webflow is not perfect. It’s such a specific, highly advanced tool, that I can totally see why you would want to go to a different direction. And so, by the very end of this Webflow review, I’ll also throw in a few interesting alternatives, worth considering.
Wix isn’t nearly as advanced as Webflow, but for beginners, it comes horrifyingly close. The Wix Editor allows to do pixel-perfect editing, gives custom animations, hundreds of various elements, over 700 free themes, and a massive app store. If you’re not feeling confident enough to go with the Webflow, Wix is a great option.
If you’re looking not to design a website, but to make a website for your online business, Shopify is an excellent option. It’s all about eCommerce. There are plenty of beautiful themes, that are fully optimized for selling, and let you focus on exactly that.
Webflow review – conclusion
In the hands of an ideal user, Webflow is a powerful platform that can be used to create beautiful, professional websites. It has a lovely template library, decent business features, and a capable eCommerce suite.
That ideal user, however, is not a beginner.
You’ll need some time to get used to Webflow. You need some design skills to properly use it, and for this Webflow review, I had to spend a few hours of my time just to understand the very basics. It’s not a toy to try out, launch a basic site with, and throw away. And of course, it’s also rather expensive.
However, if there’s a will, there’s a way. Webflow’s system is genuinely pretty simple to crack, and if you go through the Webflow University and actually try to learn it all, you could easily turn into a professional website designer!
If you want a serious tool, to do serious work with – Webflow won’t let you down.
But you don’t have to only take my word for it (you could, but you don’t have to). Give Webflow a shot yourself, and see what it’s like: maybe this is your future tool of choice.
Do professionals use Webflow?
Webflow is meant for website design professionals – or those who wish to become them. It’s a powerful, advanced tool for custom websites.
Is Webflow good for beginners?
Webflow offers perhaps the most user-friendly way to learn website design, HTML, and CSS, therefore making a pretty solid option for beginners.
Is Webflow really free?
You can start using Webflow for free. However, in order to publish a website under your domain, you need to purchase one of the Site plans that start from $16 a month.