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Top 5 Reasons Why Web Developers Should Try Webflow

Published:
June 29, 2021
Updated:
June 29, 2021

Webflow is a website creation/development/design platform that brings the web development and web design world together in one big editor they call the “Designer.” Unlike other website making services that force youto use pre-made UI elements with limited customization, Webflow gives you the option to start from a completely blank canvas, ready to have proper HTML elements placed and configured.

While web developers often shy away from no-code tools, Webflow lets you bring your front-end knowledge with you, by allowing the userto what I’ll call “visually code” their way through a UI. There are alsopowerful animation and interaction tools, alongside blog must-haves like an easy-to-use CMS, and solutions for common website headaches like handlingforms.

If you’re still on the fence about trying Webflow, here’s 5reasons why you should!

 

Bring your technical knowledge with you!

Webflow doesn’t shy away from the more technical side of configuring a user interface, asking the user to use real-world CSS properties and HTML elements to create their designs for the web. Commonly used CSS like display:flex; , position: absolute; ,and display: grid; are all apart of the Webflow experience and barely touch the surface of what the Designer is capable of.

You don’t just drag-and-drop widgets and pre-made components onto your user interface either, more often than not you’re picking and choosing real elements like divs, links, headings, and more. This gives you the power to control your UI the way you want, and even add things like IDs so that you can hook into those with custom scripts, just like you would with any other HTML element.

 

Pre-Made, where it counts

Every website has headaches that nobody wants to put together. Things like forms, navbars, and editors (CMS). It’s not that these things are particularly hard to work on, but they do bog down the overall creation of a website. Figuring out just when a breakpoint should be on that navbar, getting someone’s SMTP settings so that their form works, or even just trying figure out which email address a form should send to can sometimes feel like pulling teeth.

Webflow has you covered in these areas with pre-made breakpoints that control their pre-made navigation component that collapses down to a navicon (hamburger menu) when you need it to. The same sort of pre-made(ness?) can be found in their forms where Webflow gives you the options to fully customize the look and fields of your form, but they handle sending the email, collecting the entries, and give you control over how the email should look by pulling on the information the form was just filled out with.

 

Visual User-Editing & a CMS for content

With every client website, comes a client that wants to edit said website, and Webflow has them covered. In order to provide an easy way for clients to edit their site, Webflow has the Editor, a place where clients can focus solely on editing their site, while staying away from all the tools and options in the Designer.

Once logged into the Editor, clients can visually edit their websites by hovering over and clicking on editable elements like headings, photos, and the like. It’s super simple so clients will be able to pick up on it fast with minimal training.

Beyond that, many clients will want to add content to their website in the form of blog posts, new categories, new tags, etc. This is where the Webflow CMS comes in. You get to control all the fields that a user fills in including things like text, richtext, toggle switches, dropdown lists, and more. As the developer, you’re able to completely guide your user through the CMS experience to ensure that they don’t make unwanted mistakes. For example, if a piece of content is being posted on behalf of a guest writer and the interface is supposed to change because of that, you can add a simple toggle switch that the user can flip on to indicate that the post they’re working on is from a guest writer, you can then make UI changes accordingly (via theDesigner) based on what that toggle switch is set to.

As a personal note, any CMS that allows me to completely hold my client’s hand gets major kudos in my book. I don’t want them messing around too much, or having to fiddle with changing colours and whatnot per post if I’m able to avoid it. I want them to simply go through the editor option-by-option and by the end, the page that is created is exactly what they expect.

Edit and Publish Visually

Webflow’s Designer is a visual tool, which means that you can see what your UI looks like live as you make changes. While this may sound obvious, it holds a not-so-obvious advantage over more traditional web development methods. There’s no compiling, there’s no confusion over what the UI looks like between agency and client, there’s no big deployments. You simply edit visually, and then press “Publish” when you’re ready. This adds an incredible amount of speed to your development process, but also allows you to edit with a client, if the occasion calls for it.

Several times now I’ve hosted a video call where I’m sharing my screen and making edits to a client’s website on the Webflow Designer, they’re seeing and approving the changes live as we go. This is perfect for those clients that are more hands-on than others!

 

Support and Hosting Handled

We all fear the dreaded call about a crucial website being down. It leaves us investigating whether it’s a coding error, something wrong with the host, wondering if an update was done recently, the list goes on…

With Webflow, everything is self-contained. You make websites right in your browser, the Designer, Editor, and public-facing website itself is all on Webflow. If something goes wrong, most of the time it’s something on the Webflow end, and they’ll already be on it. This is a huge stress reliever for those of us that want to maintain a good work/life balance. You can unplug knowing that most issues, if they even come up, are just going to be handled by Webflow.

 

In conclusion, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a developer, designer, or enthusiast. If you need to make websites, you should give Webflow a try. It’s a unique experience that marries both a visual interface, with the most coding-like tools I’ve ever used in a no-code tool.

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