Articles

Why I Prefer to Work with Webflow (Part 1)

John Zapido

⚪️

December 27, 2023

TL;DR:

  • Webflow is an all-in-one-tool
  • Webflow’s main target audience is freelancers
  • Webflow makes it easier for people to create websites
  • Minimizes technical debt
  • It taught me the principles of web design

The Start of a journey

In 2016 I created my first website for my then girlfriend’s (Now wife’s) family business. It was a Wordpress site for a Tourism and Travel business.

I was ecstatic when I got my hands on Wordpress.org (or Wordpress.com, up to this moment, I really do not know which one is which).

I began to dabble in with tutorials in popular blog sites such as Wp Beginner. It began relatively easy.

I created the whole site straight into Wordpress. I got my first domain, installed a plugin for the builder. Installed a theme. I said to myself, this was fun!

But little did I know that in the succeeding months that the Website was put up, I would encounter some problems ahead. One of which is that the site is really slow to load. It really felt like an eternity to load, really.

Another problem that I would encounter is that the design that I want is sometimes not responsive, or it does not look good on mobile devices. This is a problem because back then more and more people where on their smart phones already.

I even asked the help of a friend of mine who is a technical person and also a Website dev. I invited him to dinner and asked what I could do. Although I know that the intention from him was good, I really did not understand completely what he meant except for some snippets that we need to minify the Javascript and CSS.

I began to study Javascript also to learn so that I could optimize the site better.

All this effort, in the end did not materialize as we decided to take the site down because it really did not serve its purpose as the digital brochure of the company and to attract leads or get inquiries. I mean, who would want to wait for a site to load for almost 1 minute!??

Trying to learn Javascript before Webflow. Photo by Antonio Batinić from Pexels

Fast forward…

In 2018, when I was working as a web designer, I was frustrated that my designs where not pixel perfect as to what I wish them to be.

I eventually stumbled upon a youtuber named Ran Segall. He has a channel called “Flux” which talks about Website design, Webflow, and Freelancing. In one video he talked about Webflow.

I created my first account in Webflow and then got hooked with it. I felt this freedom that I could do without the help of any technical person.

Of course other platforms enables this freedom for other designers, but what is amazing is that Webflow empowers non-technical persons to develop their websites with efficiency and speed in mind.

That said, I could list down all the things that I think why this tool, in my opinion is  the no. 1 tool for designing and developing websites as of the moment.

Webflow is an all-in-one tool

Webflow in itself is sufficient for every web design and webflow work you want. It handles all the basics that is needed for a secretary in a company selling rubber duckies that was assigned to build a website.

Webflow is an all in one design and development Swiss knife tool. Edited by Photo by Denise Jans (Unsplash)

Designer panel - HTML and CSS

You have the power to edit HTML and CSS visually without writing any syntax. But this is no drag and drop, WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) tool. You are like developing inside a tool.

Webflow CMS - Back end (Databases)

Before you need the services of plugins and third-party tools to create your databases. In the tab panel of Webflow, in just 1 click, you could create a database or edit one.

Webflow Hosting and CPanel - Bluehost, Hostinger etc

No more creating or configuring folders in the Cpanel of your hosting account. Hosting is done inside the platform.

This means that you could connect domains, publish fonts, unpublish and republish sites inside Webflow settings – everything you need to set up your website can be done there.

Want something customized? – Webflow Custom Code and HTML Embed

What’s good about Webflow is that it really democratizes Web design for all. And when I mean “All” I mean everyone, including thos who are experienced developers and designers.

Many times in the past a client asks me to do this thing that Webflow’s native features could not do. I research some things to do in the Web, but most of the time I end up asking ChatGPT to give some JavaScript code for me.

I paste this code to the Webflow HTML Embed or custom code, and voila! The feature that you could not do before becomes doable for you and your clients.

Webflow’s main target audience is primarily freelancers

Webflow initially was made for freelancers. Edited by Photo by Canva Studio

This is my opinion but hear me out. When Webflow was built the first testers I could say where people working in a client-customer relationship.

It amassed a huge following with these freelancers who either transitioned from Wordpress or other older tools like Adobe Muse and Adobe Dreamweaver.

With this, any like any other startup, the data that Webflow got from these initial users became useful to improve their platform.

Now Webflow got into the point where they are already targeting other audiences aside from Freelancers. Enterprises and in-house teams began using Webflow.

This is also why tools meant for freelancers such as Stripe and Bonsai began doing business with Webflow.

But that being said, I think that Webflow is really good for any type of company. I’ve seen teams from small to enterprise sized companies use Webflow as the Website development of their choice.

This is because…

Webflow makes it easier for people to create websites

Webflow has a steep learning curve. It is not meant for everyone to learn.

There is nothing wrong with using other platforms in the market. But I think Webflow is the best choice if you want something relatively easier to learn and the same time produce good quality Websites.

The learning curve is worth it in the end. Good thing that Webflow nourishes its users with good resources that anyone could watch in their computer or smartphones.

Minimizes Technical Debt

“Technical debt”, a term that simply means that the websites,apps or any technology we use sometimes backfires at us.

Since these technologies are not living things, sometimes we could not control what happens to them. If they would break down for some reason out of our control, they would.

How Webflow Minimizes Technical Debt

Webflow is not a perfect tool. Sometimes it just does not work for some reason, or, maybe is slow.

But backed with investors with heavy investments by those funding them are enough reason to trust in this product more.

Technical debt in Webflow is relatively minimal compared to other tools in the market. During the majority of my use of Webflow, I encountered no major problems that hindered my work for myself and for my clients

It taught me the principles of Web development

Webflow has also an easy-to-understand educational resource that is for everyone. Edited by Photo by Artem Podrev

Before Webflow, I was learning Javascript via Freecodecamp. I could not get my head around code and the syntax.

Transitioning to Graphic, UX/UI and Web Design, I found Webflow to be valuable for me as it taught me the basics of Web Development.

With the designer panel of Webflow being a representation of the CSS properties we know, it is easier for me to digest how web development works.

I eventually learned why the we should use the proper tags and how to do them for SEO and accessibility purposes. In a more advanced level, I learned the basics of motion graphics in a web development context.

Truly Webflow is a game changer.

This is part 1 of the Why I prefer to work with with Webflow. Sure, there are tons of reasons as to why I use this tool as a major player of my freelance web design and development life. Get ready for part 2!

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