Our Search for an Amazing CMS is Over (For Now)

Why we recommend Webflow as our web design, development, and hosting tool for 85% of our client's websites. The other 15%, Drupal.

Published on
March 7, 2019

What is Webflow?

Built with a “code-first” philosophy, Webflow is an all-in-one web design and development tool that allows us to design, build, and launch responsive websites visually. Launched in 2013 as a graduate of Y Combinator’s startup accelerator, Webflow is a drag-and-drop tool for creating responsive websites without the use of code with a built-in customizable (like Drupal content types and views!) Content Management System. It attempts to fill the space between DIY software like Wix and Squarespace, traditional content management systems (CMS) like WordPress, and actual front-end web development.

Webflow Designer is a Photoshop-like Interface but Also Builds and Launches Responsive Websites

Designing in Webflow requires (and encourages) thinking less like a graphic designer and more like a front-end developer. The Webflow Designer is a Photoshop-like interface that allows users to automatically generate semantic markup by dragging and dropping HTML elements onto a canvas and styling CSS properties. In contrast to the notoriously horrendous markup produced by DIY site builders and all-in-one WordPress themes like Divi,

Webflow Designer Panel

The Designer interface is admittedly complex — especially for those without any prior knowledge of basic development. But overcoming this initial learning curve has hugely rewarding in terms of what we can offer as services.

Webflow exports W3C-compliant code that can be instantly deployed as-is or handed off to developers for further customization.

It's a Content Management System Too!

While launching a blog in Webflow might take more upfront work than it would with a native blogging platform like WordPress, the result will likely be well worth the effort. Because WordPress, for all of its strengths, has never really excelled in terms of user-friendliness or ease of customization. Users are often locked into their theme’s default templates and styles. And so, customizing individual elements like post fields requires either adding third-party plugins or manually rewriting the underlying template files.

Users can then create Collections, or reusable templates for dynamic content types. For example, a website can feature collections of blog posts, authors, clients, projects, products, categories, and so on.

Animations and Interactions Made Easy

Interactions 2.0 allows designers to create custom CSS transitions and JavaScript animations based on page state and/or user interaction.

It is, in essence, an attempt to greatly reduce the headache of JavaScript DOM manipulation — and for the most part, it does this well. Creating Webflow interactions is far easier (and faster!) than writing custom JavaScript animations.

Deployment and Hosting

Webflow hosting is provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud computing platform and facilitated by a global content distribution network (CDN) powered by Fastly and Amazon Cloudfront. Webflow Hosting gives you access to the fastest and most scalable hosting technology for your business — just one click away. Plus an entire website management platform.

New Ecommerce Platform

We now can design, sell, and scale your online business with Webflow Ecommerce, the first ecommerce platform that gives you control over everything. ... Shape your customer's experience every step of the way, and build a modern ecommerce website — all without writing a single line of code.

In a nut shell

Standing far apart from the glut of low-quality DIY design software currently on the market, Webflow provides a powerful solution that is suited to most professional web design and development needs. Such features as the Webflow Designer, CMS, and Ecommerce allow us to easily create full-featured, performant websites — without needing to  code or contract with additional developers which turns projects costs much higher.

The platform does have its drawbacks, which include a less-than-intuitive animations interface and limited Ecommerce functionality. But even still, it is the best design platform currently on the market and one that’s well-deserving of your attention.

Inspiration and some content for this post is from Alex Sanchez-Olvera article Why Webflow Is the Best Web Design Program Right Now