Webflow review – your new favorite website building tool
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.
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 for a wide range of clients.
So while Webflow is not a mainstream option, can it become the next go-to website builder for everyday aspirations?
For this Webflow review, I created my own site and documented the experience. Read on to find out about its ease of use, templates, pricing, and more.
Also, 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 CMS Editor
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.
What website to use Webflow for?
No matter how versatile, there are areas in which builders excel in and in which they don’t. Let’s take a quick look at what sort of website it’s best to use Webflow for.
|Business website||Customizable, powerful, fast, and very capable for various business needs.||Small business owners might struggle with the learning curve. It’s best for teams with designers in-house.|
|eCommerce site||Built in eCommerce tool is easy to use and functional.||Plans start pretty high at $29/mo and have a sales volume limit.|
|Portfolio||Fully customizable design for both visual and text-based portfolios.||The tool is advanced and small portfolio sites won’t use the full potential of the platform.|
|Blog||Powerful and customizable blogging tool, easy to use.||Price for a personal blog might be an issue.|
Webflow for a business website
Businesses come in all shapes and forms, and Webflow understands that. The plans are well-suited to establish both simple informational business websites and conversion-driving landing pages.
However, the most notable of all is the focus on agencies. Starting with a free plan, you can use Webflow’s platform for designing and managing sites for clients. Check them out.
Webflow for an eCommerce site
eCommerce toolset is one of the greatest advantages of Webflow. It has an in-house platform that makes product and inventory management easy. Other than that, I enjoyed the streamlined process of creating custom discounts, as well as the integration of third-party tools.
If you’re interested in building an eCommerce site with Webflow, check out our detailed take on it, as well as some inspiring examples.
Webflow for a portfolio
With all the design possibilities, Webflow is a great choice for a portfolio website. Especially if you’re working in a creative field. There are many beautiful and professional templates available plus, customization options are great. The only shortcoming is the price associated – Webflow itself is not cheap, and some templates come at extra cost.
If you’re looking for inspiration for your portfolio, check out the template selection.
Webflow for a blog
Webflow has a built-in blogging tool in the Collections part of the editor. It’s a highly customizable tool that fits the needs of big and ever-changing blogs. Think of breaking news, for example.
The limitation is that for small blogs, this tool might be too much and too expensive. I’d recommend it to conversions-generating blogs as well as news sites, however. You can check out how it looks in our Editor overview.
Webflow is free to start if you want to try out the platform and not publish the site but otherwise starts at $12.00/mo. The pricing structure is made a bit difficult because of the 2 different types of plans that you can choose from.
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 $12.00 to $212.00 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.
3 plans are meant for regular sites, while other 3 allow eCommerce functionality.
- Website plans ($12.00-$36.00/mo) are best for regular websites that don't accept online payments. Think of blogs, business landing pages, and portfolios.
- eCommerce plans ($29.00-$212.00/mo) are the modified versions of website plans – they add the eCommerce toolset to create products and accept payments.
These 3 plans are made for any regular website – portfolio, blog, or business landing page.
|Basic ($12.00/mo)||Supports 25k monthly visits and 100 contact form submissions for small websites. It does not include Editor capabilities.|
|CMS ($16.00/mo)||Designed for 100k monthly visits and 1,000 contact form submissions per month. Adds site search functionality.|
|Business ($36.00/mo)||Can handle 500k monthly visitors and receive 2,000 contact form submissions monthly. You can add up to 10 editors to the site.|
Generally, these plans should satisfy the needs of content-based websites. This includes high-traffic affiliate websites, business landing pages, and other projects that do not accept direct payments through websites.
Webflow eCommerce pricing and plans are basically the upgraded versions of CMS and Business plans from the Website category. The 3 plans include all essentials for selling online.
|Standard ($29/mo)||CMS plan + 500 products, $50k sales volume supported, and 2% transaction fee.|
|Plus ($74/mo)||Business plan + 1,000 products, $200k sales volume supported, and 0% transaction fee.|
|Advanced ($212/mo)||Business plan + 3,000 products, unlimited sales volume, and 0% transaction fee.|
The Standard eCommerce plan is slightly too limited for its price. Meanwhile, Plus can do an amazing job for medium-sized online stores.
So in total, I’d say that for regular sites, Webflow 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.
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.
These plans are further put into 2 categories:
- Individual (starts free) for individual users.
- Team (from $35/mo) for adding multiple collaborotators to an account.
If you’re working alone, the 3 individual plans will be more than enough. Plus, you can start for free.
|Starter ($0/mo)||2 projects, client billing, and free staging tool.|
|Lite ($16/mo)||10 projects, client billing, enhanced staging, code export, and product transfers.|
|Pro ($35/mo)||Unlimited projects, client billing, enhanced staging, code export, product transfers, white labeling, and password protection for sites.|
Team plans cover the Pro features from the Individual category, but you can connect multiple team members. 2 options are available:
|Team ($35/mo per person)||Pro plan for each member of the team.|
|Enterprise (custom)||Customly designed solution for large businesses.|
It’s worth contacting Webflow to inquire about the Enterprise plan as it could potentially bring down the price for each member if your team is big.
Webflow plans and pricing: final thoughts
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 advanced features. For all – personal users, web designers, and online sales pros.
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%.
While Webflow's plans can get quite expensive, we can make it cheaper. That's because we scour the internet, trying to find the best coupons and discount codes. See, if there's a discount for you.
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.
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.
You can choose either from several pre-made elements to add to your sections or build custom layouts. 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, while you can drag and drop them on your site, you will have be slightly restricted on where everything could be placed at first. This will look clean and adapt to all devices.
Now on to the content.
The content itself 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.
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 options.
It's also where editors can manage Collections – groups of content. That can be blog posts, team members, menus, or similar.
This is also where all the blogging will be done from. A separate "Blog Posts" tab will show all of the published posts.
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:
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.
To sum it up, Webflow has a learning curve, but it is manageable. The builder tries to streamline every process, and it does pay off in the long run. I definitely advise looking over the tutorials for an easy start.
Webflow eCommerce review
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 you complete the initial store configurations, you can start publishing your products.
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.
The tidy control area makes it easy to manage the products:
- Add new items with multiple variants.
- You can sell both physical items and digital products or services.
- Inventory tracking is enabled in one click.
- You can set shipping options for each product too.
Another thing is discounts and the options here can really make the life of big online store owners easier:
- You can set custom dates and discounts based on the product, its category, or entire orders.
- Discount codes can have usage limits – per customer or applicable only for a limited number of each product.
From the first impressions of the tool, it looks fully capable to handle both small and big operations.
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.
With Webflow, you can set up Stripe and Paypal payment gateways straight from the editor. You’ll be able to accept credit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and other payment options in 200+ countries.
The integration is available straight from the Editor:
Another cool feature is Web Payments. If your customer has saved the information for Stripe, Apple Pay, Google Pay, or PayPal, there will be no lengthy forms to fill out. All will be automatically set for that quick “Buy Now” button.
Keep in mind that while there are no transaction fees starting with the Plus plan by Webflow itself, the payment providers might have their own fees. This is worth considering when setting budgets.
Marketing and SEO
In terms of marketing and SEO, you’ll get both the tools and flexibility with Webflow. A few general things that you can do include:
- Enable or disable auto-generated sitemap in one click.
- Set global canonical URL.
- Connect Google Analytics in general settings area.
- Integrate Google Optimize, Google Maps, and Facebook pixel from the dashboard.
- Set custom SEO settings for each product, page, and category.
- Easily create and manage forms and create mailing lists for email campaigns.
And that’s just the built-in tools to get you started. They cover the basics needed for all businesses. To add even more tools and up your marketing or SEO game, you can always look at the Integrations section hosting multiple apps.
Contrary to many other tools, Webflow does not have an in-house analytics option. However, it encourages the use of Google Analtics.
To set up Google Analytics, all you need to to is create an account and enter your Google Analytics ID in the Settings section in Webflow.
The process is entirely automated from the Webflow point of view. At the same time, once you’re tracking the numbers on GA – it’s your freedom to customize reports and set advanced tracking parameters.
Sure, having a built-in dashboard showing how many visitors are in your store currently is nice. However, Google Analytics is currently the most powerful tool for performance tracking and has few contenders.
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.
Webflow eCommerce website examples
I came across several unique online stores that are created with Webflow. It’s both an inspiration and a tribute to the design possibilities of this website builder.
To start with, an excellent small eCommerce website example – Space Posters.
Did you know that you can make online stores into beautiful one-pagers if you have just one type of product to sell? How do they say – fewer clicks lead to higher conversions?
In any case, I’m highly impressed witht the design of this site. The dark colors, subtle animations, and easy navigation are all there.
If the previous example is to risky, let me assure you that more standard layouts are possible with Webflow. Just take a look at CLOE CASSANDRO.
A regular clothing/designer store made stylish with great visual and standard categories. It’s one of those “I know where the item I’m looking for is located” stores even if it’s your first time in it.
This just shows that Webflow can be very versatile.
And we are back to more contemporary options again – Wannabe Toys.
From the animations to fonts and visuals, everything on this store screams “different!” The color scheme might give you those vintage feelings but the navigation and experience is completely contemporary.
So if you want to be different than your competitors – this is the one to get your inspiration. And once again – explore the capabilities of the platform.
So to sum it all up, Webflow is very much capable in the eCommerce department. From product management and in-house tools to integrations and design possibilities. It really looks and feels like a great tool.
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!
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.
If you are a beginner, you should look into Squarespace instead of Webflow. Squarespace’s editing, as well as SEO features and extensions, are limited, but this editor is extremely easy to use. Squarespace offers decent business and marketing features as well as designer-crafted templates. Check out our in-depth Webflow vs Squarespace comparison for more details.
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 $12.00 a month.