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How is performance since Feb 2018 issues?


#1

We are looking to evaluate webflow based on some recommendations, and one thing we are concerned about is performance (currently on wix, where there the initial load can be way too slow).

I saw that there were some performance issues discussed in Feb of this year (Webflow Performance at an all time low), and there seemed to be some rapid response to addressing these issues.

Have these performance issues been largely addressed, as far as you can tell?

I would also be interested in any other feedback you might have on performance things you might still be seeing,

Thanks!


#2

Hey @bfl, I appreciate you reaching out! I’m Dustan and I lead our performance team at Webflow. (👋 from Webflow Performance)

The issue you reference sounds to be primarly concerned with the published site. We haven’t had any Webflow-specific concerns raised regarding published pages yet, but the general guideline is that you only-pay-for-what-you-use. The performance of published sites is almost entirely in your control. For example:

  • Only CSS you add to the site in the Designer is in the published site. Additionally, you can use the Styles Manager to clean up unused CSS selectors as well. How to Remove Unused Styles/Classes
  • Only JS-powered features you use are included in the published site. If you don’t use Interactions 2.0, then the Interactions 2.0 JavaScript will not be in the published page. If you don’t use any Widgets like Tabs or Lightboxes then that JavaScript willl not be in your published pages.
  • In the Settings panel you have individual options to enable minification of the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
  • Images and videos are often the largest cost in page size. We have support for automatically generating responsive images to help with a part of that problem. You can learn more at our feature page (https://webflow.com/feature/responsive-images or in our University article (https://university.webflow.com/article/responsive-images).
  • We host your site through a globally distributed content delivery network (CDN). You can learn more about how our hosting works at https://webflow.com/hosting. The biggest cost here is on the publishing side or dynamic pages. Static pages are pre-rendered at publish time so you as the Designer have to wait for that to finish. Dynamic (CMS-driven) pages are rendered on-demand for first use and then cached after each publish. This can have a short server-side delay for the first user to visit a given page, but then is cached and served from a global CDN until the next time it is published.

From the original all-time-low forum post, the performance issues listed there are primarily regarding our Designer product itself. This is where almost the entirety of my teams focus is. I’ll be posting an update here on the forum later this week sharing our progress since the beginning of the year and what to expect over the coming months.

Cheers!
– Dustan


#3

I just quit what I was w̶o̶r̶k̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶o̶n trying to work on, to go ahead and check on the forum if Webflow is ever going to fix the Designer performance issues (actually I stopped quite a while ago while I read over several posts). I’ve been holding for a few weeks now to post something about this, at least something short to suggest some options, while I was trying to work on some projects, but I cannot wait (or work) any longer. Webflow is just impossible to work with. And now I know for sure it’s not just me or our project.

You guys at WF probably spend most of your day working with code and dev tools, but you probably don’t have to work all day long with an editing tool that doesn’t even allow you to select things without lag, like us. Highly painful, wanting-to-throw-your-computer-out-the-window-every-5-minutes lag and unresponsiveness. A real patience exercise. Why are you torturing us?? What did we do to you?! :slight_smile: Supposed to bring the designing experience to new highs, WF unfortunately is currently doing the opposite for users.

There’s no way you guys didn’t know since long ago that Webflow is a huge memory hog. That’s the main issue. I don’t know what the cause is. Many pages, classes and interactions have been mentioned. I would also say that the saving process is a big culprit. It doesn’t work in the background as it should, that’s just not true. Instead, it works ON TOP of everything else, and everything freezes when saving is going on, which is like every 10 seconds. You can’t even select things at that moment. Maybe it also has to do with storing the undo history, being why total memory usage keeps growing every minute, as you do more and more actions, until it reaches 2 GB or more, and then you have to close and reopen to gain some time of moderate sanity.

I really thought long ago that this was probably going to be fixed with the big codebase rewrite and React implementation. So I waited patiently and anxiously, but it didn’t. Maybe this was never a priority, until now, which I simply can’t understand. If you have neglected this issue before, it would now be better for everybody to stop what they are doing and have everyone focus on this until you get a performant app.

For reaching that goal, here are some things I would suggest: Look to Vue instead of React (or maybe even Svelte or Imba. Implement GraphQL (via Prisma maybe). Start moving as much as possible to serverless. Use Go as much as possible, too. And go PWA and finally meet the many requests for an offline desktop app in a super elegant, modern way.

Speaking of performant web apps, you should take a look at Figma and how it’s built. That’s how a modern web app should work. This is 2018. We can no longer keep waiting and waiting for months for fixes and small improvements to come live, and keep loosing valuable time every day. I lost hope a while ago, and have started looking for alternatives, like Figma and code converters, and Netlify (which is free btw) and static sites.

I really value your accomplishment in building Webflow as a monumental achievement, and I apologize if this is not the most positive tone, but there’s no way it can be called a professional tool until these issues get fixed (unless “real pros” at big shops and companies really like wasting their time and being slow). It’s either you fix this, or you buy webslow.com.

@iamdustan @callmevlad


#4

Hi @davidvm

Can I ask what your setup is? PC/Mac, browser/incognito, any other applications open at the same time?

Whilst there were some issues Jan/Feb, I have to say my experience since then is fairly stable overall, and not particularly laggy, certainly not as extreme as your experience has been (i’m on MacBookPro 2015, El Capitan). Yes, some bugs are occurring, but they seem to be fixed quickly…


#5

Hi @davidvm

Same configuration as @StuM here and working smoothly within Webflow.
I never experience the lag you were talking about neither (using chrome up to date on high sierra OS).

I did have some minor concerned with interface glitches or buggy functionalities and the 2 times I had to address those concerns to the Webflow support, even if I’m on a lite plan and therefore not on their priority support plan, I got a (very) quick answer and the bug/glitch was corrected in a couple of hours.

Don’t get me wrong there is still improvements to be made and the very nature of having a in browser software is two sided. You always got an updated software but if some little glitches appear with the last update it will be pushed in your experience as well.

Would be nice to be informed of new features and have to confirm if you want or not those new functionalities as it would make you able to have a sort of beta vs stable version.

Personally for using a WYSIWYG I’m sticking with Webflow which gives you a lot of controls compare to the ones I tested. It’s more a Visual Coder than a Do it yourself kind of approach to my eyes and I love it.

Again personal opinion but until now I haven’t been disappointed trusting the Webflow team (specially because customer satisfaction and support seems to be a top priority for them) and I’m still amazed of the work and vision they accomplish.

I hope you will find your tool as well :slight_smile: