Ask any developer what platform they build with, you'd end up with a variety of answers—from Webflow and WordPress, to SquareSpace, Shopify, and many more. If you asked them why, you likely get even more mixed answers. But the reason behind the platform choice should be simple: to help reach your business’s goals.
We’ve had several startups partner up with us this past year to do just this. Here’s why you should too.
We all know time is valuable. The more time a project takes, the more it will cost. In any profession, time is worth something. If a mechanic repairs your car or a carpenter builds onto your house, you’re paying for materials, but you’re also paying for labor (their time). You often pay more depending on how quickly the job is completed, right? In this case, it’s not the time you’re paying for, but the skills involved.
I’m sure you’ve heard of this expression:
If I do a job in 30 minutes, it's because I spent 10 years learning how to do that in 30 minutes. You owe me for the years, not the minutes.
Webflow allows us to build and build quickly. Not only because it’s visual building, but the way everything is structured. This allows us to set up styles, default layouts, reusable elements, and more. Since time is so valuable, let's do more with less.
Webflow pushes themselves as a “no-code” solution for the web. While they’re certainly making progress towards this, I think of them more as a visual web builder. That’s what drew me toward Webflow in the first place. I started my design career with graphics and motion design. So it helped me to learn code by seeing it being built out visually.
Sure, I've dabbled in writing HTML or CSS. Remember MySpace pages? I had mine decked out with a Mario theme. MIDI song and everything. Those were the days. Even small instances of code usage like this are helpful though. You don't have to be fluent, that's true, but it helps to know how to structure your content. And with this knowledge, and Webflow's visual nature, you can do more with greater ease.
It helps to structure your content well. Using flexbox vs grid. Understanding how to place and organize each section. Webflow’s visual nature helps you grasp what Styles do.
But what makes it “clean code”? Don’t get me wrong. I have seen some poorly built sites in Webflow, but they are far fewer than with other platforms. What makes it clean is:
a) the structural ability, and system for naming your classes
b) for a custom-built site, there’s no unnecessary bloat (plugins)
c) at it’s core, a website can be made with HTML and CSS, and some Java at time
I can clear unused assets and styles to keep things extra tidy. Menus and settings just make sense for where they’re needed.
When you have a site built with, for example, WordPress, you have plugins upon plugins in order to make everything function how it should. I’ve witnessed countless times: one plugin causes others to crash. The cache builds up, servers overload, there’s not enough bandwidth, et cetera. With Webflow, this problem doesn’t exist. Everything just, for lack of a better word, works.
Speaking of cache and servers, hosting with Webflow has to be the easiest solution available. I cannot imagine dealing with a hosting provider. With these, your sites have fixed specs, set storage amounts, and a host (pun intended?) of other details to keep in mind and bog you down. Not so with Webflow. People complain about the price, but it’s honestly the same, if not cheaper in some instances.
I’m sure someone has made a comparison demonstrating all the factors that go into site costs. Because our sites are 100% custom, there are no extra plugin fees to deal with; Yoast for SEO (built into Webflow), Jetpack for monitoring, and CDN (built into Webflow), plus a site builder like Elementor. Let’s compare; WordPress Business hosting as of this writing is $20/month, (increases to $30/m after 2 years), whereas Webflow’s yearly price comes to $16/month (no price increase). I’m not here to bore you with numbers, but you’ll want to add plugin costs to our WordPress example since it won’t work without it.
Also, Webflow makes it simple to change, upgrade, add, transfer, and BACK UP your site (more on that one later).
Holy crap is it simple to use. You can start a website with a few simple clicks, all you need is a name for the site. Or start a website by duplicating an existing one. Again, easy.
Apart from its ease of use in the Designer (where development happens), the Editor is easy as well. As a client, you’re able to edit content right on the page or inside a collection item (like a blog post, category, or team member item page). Webflow has also improved its user-friendliness by updating collaboration. Seeing who’s editing what, keeping track of changes, and knowing who’s changed what before publishing so there are no surprises on the live site.
We also build each site with intentionality (again, our sites are custom-built). Only what you need is what you see and, if needed, explained in a way specific to its use case. There are no extra fields for a blog post or article. They flow easily for you.
Webflow has a lot of features to offer, too many to cover here, but we can discuss a few.
The big one is visual coding, obviously. Again, this allows us to push things quickly and efficiently. A lot of websites have their standard pages and expected functionality, but beyond this, you find special instances or layouts. With Webflow’s customizable and visual abilities, we know there’s a way to build it out and give the site the utility it needs.
CMS, which stands for content management system, enables us to build out a site whose dynamic content you control. Blogs, teams, FAQs, products, features, use cases, tags, filters—there are so many great things we can do with the CMS.
In case you missed it in #4, the Editor boasts visual front-end editing, where you can see who’s editing what and easily publish changes.
The Interactions feature allows an extra touch of branding and experience throughout a site. This could show itself in how a menu opens, how elements behave on scroll or hover, or just in adding fun design elements to enhance the brand.
Two features in the pipeline that we’re looking forward to are Membership and Logic. Logic is essentially what we use some things on Zapier for but with Logic all within Webflow.
Okay, we know Webflow is easy to use and fully customizable, but let’s dive deeper into what that means. One of our values at Brass Hands is Relevancy: One size does not fit all, and we're determined to find your unique audience.
If you stripped down a site to its bare bones, you’d find a lot of similarities to many different sites. Yet even with these similarities, there can be a wide variety of unique sections on a site. Every site we build starts with a baseline we’ve developed over the years: similar section padding, container width, and bottom margin padding throughout. But almost every site we build contains special sections that are the brand enforcers. These are the custom sections. They look much like the rest of the site’s flow, but are unique and stand out.
A pricing table is often one of the most complex pieces on a site, but with Webflow’s custom abilities, it has become one of my favorites. Often built with CMS so that clients can edit in the future, there’s a lot of data to fit into several columns. And of course, we have monthly vs. yearly data. I've seen these built out within Tabs, but the issue there is you're repeating the amount of content on the page. If you edit one tab, the others don't follow. So it’s twice the work. Keep this in mind as you also have 4+ different viewports to adjust. It can get complex.
We build this so that all the data lies within one view, while the toggle between monthly and yearly hides the respective content. This we build with Interactions, with the data also pulled from CMS, which helps whenever you add another tier of complexity, filtering user seats.
Oh, how I love the CMS. To continue in the conversation of custom sites, building with CMS allows us to do great things. As mentioned before, here are just a few examples:
But the uses of CMS don’t end there. We can also build out product pages, use case pages, sections for these pages, and lists for placing FAQs or Testimonials. We’ve even built out a CMS for content inside of a CMS, for Sections inside of a Product Page, which is also built with CMS. CMS within a CMS within a CMS, kind of like that movie Inception.
Trainual was built with a lot of CMS in mind, with over thirty different lists for content.
Have you ever been working on a project and wished you could undo everything you’ve done in the past day? You can with Webflow. Restore points are created automatically on every 20th auto-save, and when restoring to a previous version. You can also manually add a backup at any point. We like to do this before AND after any major changes, or when fixing any issues.
This is of course, incredibly useful, not only for backups of the complete site, but also for the ability to jump back in time to recover a lost detail: a sentence that was deleted, or a section or page of content that was unnecessary a week ago but turns out to be important.
Webflow saves the current version of your project when you restore to a previous version as well. And images and other assets are saved and restored with each backup.
We understand that traffic to your business is important. And there are a couple of key areas where SEO is vital. Each page has an area for SEO Title and Meta Description. This info is what appears when Google or another search engine lists your page in their results.
What about CMS pages? Well, these have the same fields for SEO, but they can be populated to pull in from specific fields that are dedicated to SEO. Going back to customizability, we’ll set up specific fields for these on your pages.
With all these search results, there are different devices, right? Webflow makes things 10x easier to develop responsively. No more designing different layouts per device when things are coded cleanly! The default layouts are Desktop, Tablet, Landscape Mobile, and Portrait mobile. We take this one step further and add a larger breakpoint at 1440px. This gives us a large desktop and a small desktop to better the experience and functionality for users across devices.
One of the great things about Webflow is that the community is growing more and more each day. There are tons of individuals and companies making an effort to help one another. Sure, we don’t have the answer or solution to everything, but the ability to dig through info in forums or on Facebook is amazing.
And of course, since we are Webflow Experts, we have access to a private Slack group with other Experts to lean on each other and bounce ideas around, as well as having a priority support line to Webflow itself, so our expert knowledge is multiplied.
This article by no means covers every benefit of Webflow, but hopefully, it gives you a clearer idea of what makes it such a great platform, and why we build with it. Which was your favorite reason for loving Webflow? Was it a fully custom-built site or maybe seeing the capabilities of using the CMS?
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