2019 October 2nd
With Webflow website builder, you can freely design, develop, and launch a website. Aimed at freelancers, marketing teams, and business owners, Webflow claims to offer the design you want for a reasonable price.
But it gets even better.
Webflow is both a design tool and a hosting service. Which means that after making your website, you are not inclined to keep it in Webflow's servers - you can put it anywhere you like.
How does this product work? And is worth your attention? Let's find that out in this Webflow review.
First Look at Webflow
So, as a service, Webflow is split into three major products: a web design tool, a CMS system, and a hosting service.
Let's have a look at each one individually.
Feature-Rich Website Designer
The Webflow website is itself a good demonstration of the power of the Webflow Site Designer. It doesn't have the most practical layout, but it's sliding images and fancy headers certainly look great. You might find the constantly shifting background and moving images a little off-putting, but I quite liked it! Fortunately, when it actually comes to pricing and sign up pages, everything becomes a little more static.
Once I had signed up for and launched the website builder, I was seriously impressed with the power of the included features. The Flexbox function gives the user an intuitive way to build flexible and responsive layouts. You can even link animations and movement to your cursor position to catch visitor’s attention.
Another feature that immediately grabbed my attention was the transformation and animation Webflow key feature. It lets you create 3D CSS transformations without writing a single line of code!
Tricky But Rewarding Content Management System
The WebFlow content management system certainly helps WebFlow to stand out from other all-inclusive web builders and puts it in a position to compete with big-name services such as WordPress. It's extremely adaptable and works with pretty much any type of content you can think of. You can easily add basic content such as colors and images, or advanced content like portfolios or blog posts.
The first thing that stood out to me during my Webflow CMS review was the cleanness of the design, it feels a lot like using a premium Adobe product.
And I mean it - it's not incredibly easy to use, but will instead reward anyone who takes the time to get used to the layout.
A Glance at Webflow Hosting
Publishing your Webflow website is made easy with its hosting feature. With the option to connect a custom domain, a built-in SSL certificate, and a built-in content delivery network at no extra cost - your desired website can be up and running in minutes.
To make things simpler, any Webflow account can be combined with any Webflow hosting plan - even free ones, but we'll talk more about pricing below!
My first impressions of Webflow are positive overall. Indeed, there are many outstanding and unique features with Webflow. But for businesses who aren't interested in creating a fancy site and are just looking for a straightforward builder, these might fail to impress you.
Webflow pricing depends on whether or not you wish to host your website to them. You can get your website online for as cheap as $12 a month - but there are several things which will decide the final hosting price. As for example, on Webflow, you can either sign up for an unhosted or a hosted account.
Webflow unhosted plans
Let's start with an overview of the unhosted account. These will allow you to design your website but not to host or publish it.
Though confusing at first, the Webflow price plans are impressive - they are flexible and offer good value for money (ranging from $0 - $35/month). The free plan is useful for familiarising yourself with Webflow's interaction and animation features, but to make the most of these I would recommend upgrading to the lite price plan.
If you already have a hosting service elsewhere, the lite plan is a worth considering as you can actually export your HTML code and thus publish your site on a separate service.
Webflow hosted plans
The Webflow hosted plans range from $12/month to $36/month. Each includes the Webflow Designer software so you won't need to worry about paying for that separately.
However, the key thing to note about how the hosted plans differ from one another is that the Basic package doesn't include access to the Webflow CMS tool. That'll severely limit the amount of content your able to add to your site and basically takes away one of the key selling points of the whole Webflow experience.
Another major downside I can pick out is the fact the plans are paid annually. It is possible to pay monthly too, but only if you're willing to commit to a premium rate.
Webflow Plans in More Detail
Let's take a magnifying glass to those hosted plans, shall we?
|Number of websites||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Connect existing domain||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Overall, these hosted plans offer a solid range of coverage for very different users. It's good to note that you won't be limited to a certain number of design projects with any of them, as you would be if you signed up for one of the unhosted packages.
Aside from CMS, or the lack of it, the other clear differentiator between these plans is the number of page views that are included.
Instead of restricting your monthly bandwidth, Webflow will cut your site off after its exceeded a certain number of monthly visitors.
Evidently, even the Basic plan will be able to deal with a reasonably large audience. However, if you are running a global brand or a site with a worldwide following, the Business package, with its cap of a million views, will be more suitable.
A major point of difference between the CMS and Business plans is the number of CMS objects that you can upload. With 2,000 items, you'll be able to create a relatively large site through the mid-tier plan, but don't expect to be able to keep it updated with new content every day.
The results show from the Bitcatcha test I ran show that Webflow has comfortable connection speeds around the west of the globe, but the response times aren't quite as pretty elsewhere. I'd avoid using Webflow if your primary audience sits in Japan.
Disappointing (Lack of) Support Response
I believe there must be more than this to it, but I tried to contact Webflow's support team and I'm yet to receive a response. Theoretically, Webflow's Customer Success team should respond to all queries within 48 hours, but at the time of writing it's been 4 days of silence. This is definitely an issue worth taking into account!
Final Thoughts from My Webflow Review
Webflow is certainly far from your everyday website builder and offers an incredibly broad set of plans that cater to very different users. I was, however, concerned by the inconsistency of its customer support team.
Webflow has many outstanding creative features, all of which are very user-friendly at a fair price. However, I am not impressed by having to wait 4 days (so far) for a response from support.
If you do try Webflow, please feel free to leave your own Webflow reviews and experiences below.