Articles

Importance of Code and Web Development Principles in Webflow

John Zapido

⚪️

March 5, 2024

Importance of Code and Web Development Principles in Webflow

Long ago, I started my journey to create websites with a tool called Webflow. It promises clean code, fast-loading websites, and many more solutions that enable developers to break away from coding manually or using other platforms such as Wordpress and Wix.

While Webflow also promises custom interactions by using its native features, the real question really is – is it really sufficient to build full-blown highly interactive websites?

I’ve been searching far and wide in the jungle of web to find forums such as this one for enlightenment. The majority of people who want to use Webflow, want something that is easily done by non-coders or who are unskilled, meaning they are not really in the industry.

This goes to say, that somehow coding or knowledge of basic web development is not needed.

I, however, would disagree. In many things in life, you have the foundation on the things that you most commonly do. However, to be better and to be at least a decent practitioner, one must go out of the box in order to provide the best service to their clients, or to whoever they work for.

In this article, I will explain why learning how to code or at least knowing the basics of Webflow development is necessary to learn Webflow.

1) Webflow was built with Web development principles in mind

Webflow is built by web designers and developers looking for a way to stay in the middle of being too technical and staying as simple as possible.

In a previous article, I already mentioned that Webflow mimics the way HTML, CSS, and Javascript work. What the Webflow team did was make it more visual.

So, in all honesty, you could not learn Webflow without knowing the basic principles of web development.

However, there is a twist to this.

Yes, you can learn web development from an outside resource, which is quite ubiquitous, knowing how many resources are out there, but you could also learn web development through learning Webflow.

In my case, I have been the result of the latter.

I consider myself a doer, a person of action. Whenever I learn things, I learn them through practice.

Sadly, I did not enjoy programming that much when I was learning the principles in a textbook manner. I also did not enjoy the longevity of typing syntax manually without any visual assistance.

Fortunately, when I used Webflow and Webflow University’s resources, I began to understand how websites and the web, in general, work.

2) Some things are not doable with Webflow’s native features

Going up the ladder of learning Webflow, I find myself wondering if Webflow could do this one thing that I want for the website.

I could see multiple inspirations in site award websites, but I could see that I am far from the level I want to be, when it comes to creating those websites.

Little by little, I discovered that I needed to up my game and learn new things outside of Webflow that would not hinder me from doing the things that I needed to do.

Until now, honestly, I have not been an expert on other programming languages that could be used to improve the websites that I am creating.

3) Some things are BETTER outside of Webflow’s native features.

Many times, Webflow could solve the problems of developers and designers who are creating websites.

Whenever I do a project, I keep in mind that I need to stay within the limitations of Webflow due to some technical reasons that may affect the SEO or the performance of a website.

I guess if you want a stunning websites that result to the joy and happiness of your clients and audience, you really need to learn languages like Javascript and its libraries, such as three.js or maybe GSAP.

A lot of times, I use a solution like Finsweet’s. However, if you know and have mastered other programming stuff, you could also do many of those things.

4) It is necessary to Future proof yourself and earn a leverage outside of Webflow

The sad reality of a web developer’s work is that while it is continually improving and you will most likely be in-demand for the next 10 years or so, most of the everyday tools that we are using will most likely be outdated or not on track.

A printing publishing tool called QuarkXPress existed before Adobe InDesign, before the latter won over the former.

If you were a print designer back then, you would have no choice but to adapt to the change and would most likely go to Adobe InDesign because your employer or your clients would require it.

Now let’s say, in a hypothetical manner, that Webflow will succumb to another up and coming competitor in the future.

I am not scaring ourselves, but this is the reality of our work. In this case, the web development principles stay with us, and we could easily adjust accordingly. to the needs of the times.

5) Use Webflow as your boat in a vast ocean

As a Webflow developer, I use Webflow as my tool. But most of the better developers I know use Webflow as a tool that allows them to build with it, and upgrade it with their programming skills outside of Webflow.

As I’ve said before, you are not limited to Webflow as the only tool you could learn.

There are tonnes of opportunities to improve yourself and get better, resulting in better websites for you, your clients, and the whole world.

John Zapido

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