Why Digital Design Studio Aardig Uses Webflow in Making Websites
Webflow is a low-code visual platform for creating websites, landing pages, blogs, and online stores. It enables people to build websites without having to code, as Webflow generates a large part of that code itself.
Small disclaimer: it doesn’t mean you never have to code, we use Webflow just as a basis to code faster and develop more complex websites. This makes it a beloved tool within the no-code and low-code movement, where technology is used to simplify the creation process.
Webflow offers the flexibility to build almost anything you want and is highly customizable, allowing you to design and build websites exactly as you envision them.
A Few Features of Webflow
- A huge template library for different sectors – Webflow offers paid and free templates (we don’t use them ourselves, but perhaps they will come in handy for you).
- Integration with After Effects, allowing for complex animations and micro-animations.
- Mobile-friendly and fast loading times, which contribute to better SEO performance.
- Webflow University and fast support: every technical challenge we ever had, we could immediately solve via the university or with the help of support.
- Native CMS with localization which allows for easy and effective content management. Whether you are small or large, the possibilities scale with you as you grow. It is also integrable with your back-end.
Why We Use Webflow
We choose Webflow because it allows us to translate designs directly and accurately into functional websites. This direct translation ensures that the original ideas and visions of the designer are preserved during the transition from design to realization.
Our efficiency and speed in project development is an important advantage, and with Webflow, we can deliver high-quality results in a short time frame. This is due to the user-friendly interface and the powerful tools that Webflow offers. Webflow enables us to create custom solutions that are not feasible on other platforms due to their limitations in adaptability.
Finally, we teach our clients how to use the CMS of Webflow, so they can independently manage and update their website, even after the completion of the project. This increases their independence and reduces the need for ongoing support.
Custom Code vs. Webflow
When Custom Code Wins
If you can code, these limitations are not relevant. If not, then you are limited to the standard features of Webflow.
- Recurring costs: Webflow works with a subscription model. Those costs can add up depending on your usage. Unlike Webflow, pure code does not incur recurring costs. You mainly invest in a good code editor and some tools like hosting.
- Flexibility: Pure code offers the flexibility to integrate any tool, platform, or service with your website as needed. Although Webflow has many possibilities, it does not always support every third-party tool. However, their API offers more and more possibilities.
When Webflow wins
- Coding without coding: in Webflow, the designer places blocks on a canvas, after which the application automatically generates the code. This generated code can be exported and used on other hosting platforms. It concerns valid W3C code, which ensures fast loading times and makes it easy for developers to work with, unlike the code from other tools.
- Cost saving: although Webflow subscriptions can be pricey, it is still significantly cheaper than hiring an in-house front-end developer.
- Speed: fully manually coding a website is time-consuming, including designing, coding, testing, and perfecting details. Webflow significantly speeds up this process.
Webflow vs. WordPress
Webflow offers more speed, functionality, ease of use, and security compared to WordPress. WordPress was long the standard, but Webflow has overtaken it in these areas. Websites built with Webflow are often faster due to optimized hosting and do not require theme or plugin updates, which benefits security. Because Webflow does not use plugins, your website does not unnecessarily break. However, depending on the use case, there are advantages and disadvantages between both options.
Ease of Use
- Webflow: offers a user-friendly visual editor and various options for adjusting content. Hosting is included with your account.
- WordPress: famous for its quick setup process, but requires you to find your own hosting provider. The dashboard interface is simpler but requires more clicks to reach different tools.
- Webflow: in addition to professionally designed templates, it offers the ability to set up a custom design at lightning speed.
- WordPress: uses a block editor and offers an extensive collection of themes, both free and paid, but may require additional plugins for a comparable visual effect.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Webflow: offers an integrated approach with tools for creating mobile-friendly pages and automatically generated sitemaps. As a result, you generally rank a lot easier in search engines.
- WordPress: has fewer built-in SEO tools but offers control over SEO via plugins.
E-commerce and Costs
- Webflow: eCommerce is directly built into Webflow with monthly subscription costs, but it offers limited integration with payment providers for the Dutch market. Platforms such as Molly are integrable.
- WordPress: is free to download and flexible, but requires payment for hosting, domain name, and other elements. WooCommerce is a popular e-commerce option for WordPress, which is free, but may require more setup
Converting a Website to Webflow
Converting a website to Webflow is possible and can be advantageous if you need speed, flexibility, and security. This is especially useful if you want to switch from platforms like WordPress.
Advantages of Low-Code Solutions Like Webflow
Low-code solutions like Webflow make it easier to quickly design and build high-quality websites without in-depth technical knowledge. This lowers the threshold for creating professional websites and saves time and money in the development process.
Although Webflow offers a lot of flexibility, there are some technical limitations. For more complex functionalities such as search bars, sliders, and advanced animations, additional knowledge may be required. Also, adjusting exported Webflow code on external hosting can be challenging. Fortunately, we have quite a bit of friendly knowledge in-house to support you in this.
When You Better Not Use Webflow
Webflow may not be the best choice for websites that require heavy user data collection, such as personal logins or order histories. This is because you are mainly dependent on other applications in these cases.
However, when using tools such as Airtable, Wized, or Shopify, you can set up a workable product. These applications integrate seamlessly with Webflow, if you don’t mind having multiple vendors.
In addition, it can be a challenge to build modular websites where content editors want to set up pages themselves because you then have to access the design view as a client. This can potentially lead to errors or bugs.
We build the CMS for you in such a way that you can do what you want to do so that you have the freedom and flexibility from the CMS tools.
When Webflow Comes in Handy
Webflow is particularly suitable for visually heavy websites with a high ‘wow’ factor, such as sites that make rich use of design and motion, page transitions, and micro-animations.
It is also ideal for content-rich sites, prototyping, and projects with a smaller budget. Webflow’s fast loading times and the ability to easily manage content without affecting the design make it a good choice for marketing.
Together determine whether or not you make a Webflow website? Contact our digital design studio aardig.