Instead of keeping your customers salivating infinitely for new features, why don't you do this : http://docs.blocsapp.com/roadmap.html. It will help everyone to know what we should be expecting and when.
So a few thoughts here... I would never use Blocs because "MAC ONLY - OSX 10.9 Minimum" and I don't have a Mac. Also I really have jumped feet first into WF for a few reasons... and that in a way has me extremely worried.
Like you, I would like the Roadmap so I know what to plan for, not just for myself but my clients. I feel WF is a valuable tool for my business so much so I've been raving about it to my clients - it saves me time, which saves them money. That's a very good position to have.
Currently I'm testing exporting templates into Wordpress & SquareSpace because I don't know the longevity of Webflow, no offense Webflow guys. But the reality is if all of a sudden Webflow is gone I am now without websites. So I do not use Webflow as a CMS, I almost use it as a GitHub repository for my websites.
I currently have a "template" for a hotel that I rebuilt in Webflow from another developer, after I was done optimizing it it cut the index load down from 1.8meg to 1m (it's still too much but it's a hotel and they like their large images and fonts). I need to build out the other 15 hotels in that template - so while that speeds things up I still need to find solutions to some other problems. They have events that span across different sites, it would be nice to be able to use symbols as includes between different sites with different variables. Will we ever see it? No idea.
It's examples like these, I believe, is why important for Webflow to give us a roadmap. Not all of us are using this just to make their own websites but to enhance productivity within our own businesses. I've tested out Macaw, Edge Reflow, SquareSpace, and Pine Grow. So far Webflow has won out but I've seen some of the other stuff coming down the road with the other programs and it's peeked my interest, until then though Webflow will continue to get my business.
I'm not working for Webflow, but I do develop softwares, some of them having a lot of users (Lo-Mob, around 250K active users) and when I see Bloc's page, I'm pretty sure they'll never do this again and they'll regret it soon.
Software dev is difficult to plan ahead. Business models are in constant adjustments. Here are two reasons why you don't want to give your users informations on things you don't fully control.
Give a piece of information to users and suddenly requests morph into demands. You're not anymore selling what exist, but what will exist. Users start to "sell" features to their clients and come back to you in rage because you're late... and if you decided to finally bury some feature because it's either not technically realistic, or business-wise not a great idea?
When you do software development, you make sure you sell what exist now and keep your mouth shut about the upcoming. And I'm not even addressing competition, just users. Everytime you speak too much, you're going to regret it.
I can appreciate a roadmap... if not just for reference and ideas
- but I instead prefer a tool that is fully operational and supported - and does what it says.
Promises, of what something it will do in the future
- will not put food on my table or pay my mortgage.
For me... I guess I'm lucky. I'm not a designer - I am a developer.
Before Webflow... I hand-coded everything. But that's also the best way to learn.
You hop on a bike, when you want to learn how to ride.
You take an engine apart if you really want to know how it runs.
Drive a stick shift... and you will never forget how to.
I can do everything Webflow does - without Webflow...
- but then I'm back to building with my hands instead of my head.
I choose Webflow because I know what Webflow can do
- not because of what Webflow wants to do.
Obviously, there are some deficiencies and short comings. Some of them well known like this continuing Google Map issue that my customers keep reminding me about.
On the good side... Webflow has enabled me to reduce my cost and thus my price from $2000 to $600 a website.
This gives me an advantage over my competition.
The biggest issue I see - is that Webflow seems to be targeting the non-computer person...
- as opposed to someone who does "this" for a living.
Companies like Wix and Weebly are already nailing down the non-computer person "customer".
If Webflow targets "the person making a living from Webflow (ie: the Pro's)"... the Pro's will target the ones "not making a living from Webflow"... and allow the non-pros to continue doing their real jobs... instead of building websites.
I have yet to come across one customer who wants to stop everything they are doing...
- to build a website for their business
- unless it's free.
We haven't even mentioned hosting, SEO, or SEM.
I found that Webflow guys gaves us enough Hint or feedback that allow us to see and understand what is the future of Webflow. A roadmap for future development will only create frustration. Webflow is a team that can surprise us, and I think that they'll continue this way.
But one thing for me, I don't like Wix branding, advertising or "simplicity". Their system are not simple as Webflow, and the result are often ugly. Webflow is for Web Designer Professionnal, Wix is for my Mom, and block app is a kind of strange things that will not get enough users to stay alive.
Making it sound as if they are doing us a favour.
Show me one software roadmap that has been respected on a span of 18 months. One.
So yeah, I thing a developer that can keep it to himself does make you a favor.
When you're a dev, you WANT to tell people about all the great stuff to come. But you can't.
Actually, we're trying to target both designers and developers that design websites for a living. We're proud of the way we differentiate our product over the 'non-computer' person and we intend to continue to provide pro-level features and tools to make your lives (notably the professional's lives) easier. Things like symbols, interactions, custom fonts, are things we never would have implemented if we were just building another "website builder"
Hi @topelovely! Webflow is growing as a company (customers, employees, brand awareness) which means that we are going to be sticking around for the long haul. We're investing in our future, the future of our customers and the future of the web.
As far as roadmaps go, I'm a really good example of a roadmap gone wrong. I personally get really optimistic when it comes to feature releases (because I want to make all Webflow users really happy) and I give out dates that end up being not accurate at all. Then people get frustrated because of broken promises. As @vincent mentioned we are trying our best to not let users down because of false expectations. I hope you understand and sorry for any ambiguity along the way. I just get really excited about how some features will empower people to create awesome stuff.
I too make my living off of exclusively using Webflow. I build and create brands and websites for a variety of different companies (over 20 in 2014). I think of Webflow almost as the perfect medium between both PROS and those looking to learn (or just to get a website live, like a business). What I love more about Webflow is this medium, because not only can I build/design/create 10x faster than hand-coding, but also in a medium that many of my clients can understand and appreciate.
I use screen sharing (Like ScreenHero) and will literally walk through sites with clients and make changes as we go. They LOVE this. The ability for them to grasp the "backend" of how their site is being built has been hugely advantageous for me.
YES Webflow could do better to make it better for both parties, but they really (really) are. Just what Webflow has been able to do in the couple years they've been around is amazing, and has allowed me to start not only my own, but dozens of other's businesses with a strong brand and web presence. That is powerful.
PLUS I agree that I too lowered my rates due to the ability to vastly increase speed of building a site, but now I've gone the other way and charge more, and I've realized that most of my clients are willing to pay it. Why? For the exact reasons we were charging less: To build a high quality website, faster than anyone else. Sounds like a reason to charge more to me
So hat tip to you, always love seeing other Webflow Pros sharing their thoughts
I tried that Blocs App and I don't see it being much even with those updates. It is very simplistic with very little customization options. Being that gated does give them more control over adding the things they want but I would still take that roadmap with a grain of salt. Just because it is written on a web page does not make it 100% solid. I would MUCH rather be surprised by an update than be eagerly waiting for one and then have it pushed back.
It also just feels like another one of those 'promo apps' you see design firms partnering up with design 'freebie' websites to make. This won't end up being much of a practical tool.