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Webflow: where's the catch?


#1

I’ve seen a lot of people recommending Webflow.

I’m a graphic designer who has always had an affinity for computers (I code HTML and CSS, use Git, Bash, etc). Though, that’s not my main occupation. That means I’m very slow compared to someone who is mainly a front-end developer.

Thing is, I (and a lot of people) have always feared WYSIWYG software because of their heavy, non-semantic, unreadable code output (Muse, for example).

So, is Webflow really that good?

Lightweight, no bs code?

Semantic HTML5 markup?

Readable code output?

a11y accessible?


#2

Yes, If you export your code you can se the quality


#3

Welcome to the community @Bansisingh :smiley:

Happy to help answer these questions.

So, is Webflow really that good?

Yes. It was launched back in August 2013 and it’s just been getting better and better since then.

Lightweight, no bs code?

You can see the proof right here: http://webflow.com/view-source

Semantic HTML5 markup?

Readable code output?

a11y accessible?

Try Webflow for free and you be the judge if the hype is real or not :slight_smile: Oh and if you can, please report back with your honest feedback. We’d love to hear it.


#4

I’m one of them. I’m very loud about it.

Me too.

Oh yes :slight_smile:

No garbage, the highest easyness of maintenance I’ve ever experienced, see for yourself.

That’s up to you, Webflow isn’t magic, you put the HTML5 tags you want on elements.

As easy as ABC (“one, two three , four, five”)

HTML5, Accessibility… I start to like you! So ok, listen, Webflow isn’t magic, it doesn’t do so much behind your back. it’s an UI for HTML, CSS and interactions (done in a mix of CSS and JS). If you want your site to be accessible, well respect the accessibility rules when developing with Webflow. Don’t use images as BG, put your Alts, work your focussed elements, etc… Same for having a clean HTML5 structure. You can read a piece I’ve worked on with @jmw https://webflow.com/blog/html5-semantic-elements-and-webflow-the-essential-guide, and many many more in depth articles on the blog.

So, there’s going to be some catch, some limitations there and there, that you’ll be able to work around with custom code or design solutions. BUT it’s marginal for most projects.

Dive in, it IS really the future, only now. I know you’re skeptical, you’d have tell me that 5 years ago and I’d have been as doubtful as you.


#5

Or just click on the Preview button, then right click and Inspect in Chrome.


#6

I absolutely agree with Vincent. And his statement that Webflow is a kind of UI for html/css is important; understanding of semantic html/css is key when you need this (who doesn’t).

The only thing I’m not enthusiastic about is the way Webflow deals with interactions when you need them in exported code. Interactions hooks are ID’s in the html with long strings. The javascript is a kind of black box.


#7

I was once just like you, someone who was a designer but never knew enough to build sites. Webflow changed my life! The code is clean, far cleaner than you or I could ever write and definitely production ready. Some developers may have “better” ways of writing code or optimizing their code but thats purely a subjective opinion. The code that Webflow kicks out is clean, readable, and most importantly, it works! Give it a try!

Also, if you don’t have a pro account and you want to see a code export of a site you’re working on, make a copy and you can transfer it to me and I’ll show you the code. I think you can also go to the export dialogue and see the code without having to export or follow Vincent’s advice above.


#8

The main catch for me is the interactions!

I know you to use CSS animations, JS animations (Vanilla, GSAP, etc), AMP animation, used Adobe Animate, so on and so forth. Even using live servers and hot reloading, it’s just no even close.

Using the Interactions pannel is easier and faster for my workflow by far. After I started using Webflow, my sites are much more interactive and funnier to look at.


#9

I was in the same situation. I came to Webflow after Adobe announced they will no longer carry on development on Muse. Webflow is a totally different package. I really liked Muse for a while but the widget ecosystem made it easy and cumbersome at the same time for customization .
But then I came to Webflow. And it changed the whole experience. The designer experience is top notch. Pixel perfect design when you’ve been using muse and its absolute positioning. I was wowed.
It’s quicker than muse for designing. Takes a little more effort to get to know Webflow. But at the end you get rewarded. Clean code, no dependency on annoying widgets and fast back-end operations. After 3 months of use you also get a good understanding on how to manipulate/initiate custom code on your site.

The only caveat for me, the hosting is tougher to sell to everyday clients, most of them do not understand yet the advantages of SSL and CDN for SEO, security and performance.
I’ve been comparing the code output of a lot of WP visual builders (oxygen, divi, elementor) and Webflow is always the cleanest.
This forum is also a gold mine of resources. There’s always someone willing to help you out on most custom code issues.

Now, I just hope Webflow never dies.


#10

Generally the catch are these limitations and the wishlist requests that have not been implemented yet.


#11

Yo… webflow has changed my life. My career took off and my ability to launch some amazing platforms for learners and users sky rocketed. I’ve been using webflow since 2014 and I’ve used webflow almost everyday since. This tool is nothing short of amazing. It’s gets better and better and I would always recommend this to clients;… not (just) because I can support it, but because the platform isn’t going anywhere and the webflow team continuously delivers the tools we need to make the most functional sites at a fraction of the dev time… seriously, If I still lived in the bay area, I’d try my hardest to work for them.


#12

I echo what @still.downloading says. Literally changed my life. (And I don’t use that phrase flippantly.) :wink: I was in a black hole on the hunt for a better tool than Dreamweaver, Wordpress and Muse. I didn’t think something like this existed. When I found webflow a few years ago, it was almost too good to be true. And the more I dug into the tool, the more I loved it. Before, I would only take on certain projects that I would be able to build the front end for and pass along the implementation into Wordpress onto a programmer. But now I design and develop websites, which saves me a ton of time, resources and get to keep my hands in the creation of it from start to finish. And now I create websites way more than I create logos or print pieces, and the reason for that is 100% webflow.


#13

There’s no catch. Webflow can do 95% of the work that most web designers do and, depending on your client base, it might be 100%. Webflow is to web design what photoshop was to photo editing. A super low abstraction designer that allows you to work 100x faster.


#14

For me Webflow is great and code is clean. Having knowledge and html structure and basic css is great to enjoy the potential. Also animations and the fact that everything is instant even media quieries are big factors. On top of this if you know javascript you can add a lot of small functions to any webflow website which is pretty cool
And yes the hosting part is a bit hard to sell.
Finally there is also a great tool to convert webflow design and cms to wordpress/shopify and woocommerce so even more potential :+1: