Apr 1, 2020

5 Webflow Features Business Owners Love

Business
5 Webflow Features Business Owners Love
5 Webflow Features Business Owners Love

Read Time: 10min
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There’s a lot of misinformation out there.

About what Webflow can and can’t do.

About the difference between the Webflow Editor and Webflow Designer.

About whether guacamole should be chunky or smooth…


We’re going to tackle the first two confusing topics in this article.

Usually, when clients come to us, they are coming to us for one of five common reasons:

  • Strategy, Messaging, Brand ID, Illustrations - Often clients looking for a redesign and development of their website will be looking to start with redesigning or enhancing their Brand ID & Messaging first.

  • Website Redesign & Development - These clients want to add and/or simplify content, redesign their entire website, develop new pages, and integrate with a user-friendly, scalable CMS.

  • Website Migration - These clients want us to take their current website and redevelop it in Webflow while keeping the design consistent, essentially creating a Webflow carbon copy. The main goal of this is typically to increase internal operational efficiency.

  • Development Only - These clients typically have already completed and finalized high-fidelity designs (in Figma, Sketch, PSD, or similar either with their internal design team or with an external agency) and want us to develop the new designs. Then, we will either deploy their pages on Webflow CMS or export them and migrate them elsewhere (Hubspot, Wordpress, or any other CMS) depending on scope of work.

  • Landing Pages - Many businesses are also currently managing landing pages for various marketing campaigns and would like to design and/or develop new landing pages as either a part of a larger build or as a stand-alone project. They want our advice on how to create as little design & development debt as possible when moving forward with a long term strategy.


We can use Webflow for development no matter where your website ends up living for launch - on Webflow or off. 



The combination of the Webflow development platform and our process allows our clients to benefit from increased internal operational efficiency, mind-blowing interactions & design, scaleable UX systems, quality code that you own, and more. 

The Five Features of Webflow that Business Owners Love Most

Webflow Designer - Allows the agencies you work with more flexibility when it comes to accurately developing a design and to work more efficiently when it comes to development. The Designer opens up the opportunity to bring “development” to your marketing team by bringing Webflow in-house. Depending on your scope your agency of choice may also choose to build out a proper scaleable UX system in the form of reusable Webflow “Blocks” for easy future development.


Webflow Interactions & Lottie Animations - Mind-blowing interactions and animations. The combination of Webflow Interactions 2.0 and Lottie allows your site more flexibility when it comes to interactions & animations, allowing your site to feature “central points of interactivity” and micro-interactions that truly tie messaging and aesthetic in an impactful way. 


Here’s a few examples below:



svz.io



coresite.com




Webflow Editor - Increase internal operational efficiency for all. Manage updates in seconds. Not hours. Shouldn’t your marketing team manage your marketing website? Hand the keys to marketing and rest easy knowing you won’t have to bother your developers again for marketing website updates.

Deployment & Hosting - Fast, ultra-reliable, web hosting, without the hassle. Webflow Hosting is the “fastest, most scalable hosting technology for your business.” Clients benefit from having access to the most powerful tools available to host and deploy your website without having to set-up each one individually.

Export Clean HTML5 and CSS3 - Own your code - migrate elsewhere anytime. Not everyone can host with Webflow — that's why they “let users with a Lite plan and above export Webflow's clean, standards-compliant code to use whenever, wherever, and however they'd like.”


Now we’ll go over each of these features in more detail and we’ll share how they can help YOUR business take it to the next level.

Designer

The Designer is what we (Agencies & Development Professionals) use to develop your Webflow website from scratch, along with any other platforms or code we might need to write/integrate for functionality needs. The Webflow Designer is a visual interface built for developers & design professionals to visually develop and allows us to develop, and deploy/host on Webflow, or export the front-end code base. Either way, the result is the ability to create semantic, no BS, code visually within Webflow, with the option to utilize Webflow for CMS, deployment, and hosting. 


Even though Webflow uses a visual interface, you still have access to the site’s full code export and Webflow’s API for use by our development team. This gives us the efficiency and agile design flexibility benefits of a visual development interface, with the power and functionality of having access/ownership to the raw code. 


With this combination, we avoid the limitations that many other platforms (like Squarespace and Wordpress) run into. These days, with the combination of Webflow and custom development, truly (almost) anything is possible.

Interactions

Webflow Interactions allow us to develop custom CSS and JavaScript (JS) interactions based on page state and/or user interaction all within Webflow. 


Webflow Interactions 2.0 allows you to directly manipulate JS to create amazing interactions directly in Webflow. To get even more creative, you can bring in advanced Lottie animations into Webflow as well. 


To get started on this, have your design team create animations in After Effects, export them as Lottie JSON files with the ‘bodymovin’ plugin, then implement them into your Webflow site. Once the Lottie animation is in place, your developers can also manipulate the animation further by adding Webflow interactions. Here’s an example of what it looks like when the two come together, shown on our latest portfolio website update.

Creating Webflow interactions is far more flexible than learning and writing custom JavaScript animations. This saves our clients - and us - time. The time we save developing interactions allows us to focus more on the strategy, messaging, and design, which results in a more creative end product.

Editor (CMS)

Stop relying on Engineers & Developers to update your marketing website.



Reduce the amount of time it takes to update your marketing materials by no longer relying on your engineers, developers, and technical people for all of your marketing website updates. (And no that doesn’t mean you have to have a BASIC website) Perform site updates in seconds - not hours. See a tutorial mini-series of the Webflow CMS/Editor in action here.


The Webflow Editor (CMS)  is what our clients will most likely be using to edit any content on their websites, as the Webflow designer is meant for developing new pages, has a steeper learning curve, and requires design & development knowledge to properly utilize.


The Webflow Editor is extremely user-friendly. Once your site is complete, updating content like articles, landing pages, team pages, etc has seriously never been easier (check out a series of brief introduction videos to the Webflow CMS here for a quick overview). 


With the Webflow Editor, you can easily manipulate any pre-existing content (text, links, images, etc) without breaking the site design. It also allows you to add dynamic-enabled pages such as articles, blog posts, landing pages, team member pages, and any other dynamic content without any design or development experience. 


Use-case example: we can create one conditional template page that allows our client to create many new stand-alone landing pages and use them for various marketing campaigns as needed. You could add a new landing page, update and edit its content, and use the page link for your marketing campaign all via the Editor. All with basically no technical skill needed. 

Hosting 

Webflow Hosting is the definition of world-class speed & reliability. Real fast. Real reliable.



If your Webflow site is developed properly, you’ll never have to worry about dealing with an inconsistent backend, manual back-ups, slow page speed, unreliable plug-ins, or security issues ever again. (These are all main issues with Wordpress.)

All Webflow Hosting Plans Come Equipped With:


  1. World-class speed and reliability with 99.9% uptime and the fastest Global CDN in the world. Webflow is powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Fastly. AWS supports millions of sites, while Fastly’s global CDN delivers your content in milliseconds no matter where you are.

  2. New HTTP/2 standards out of the box, ensuring your site loads as quickly as possible. Webflow is constantly updated to raise standards.

  3. Enterprise-grade scalability. “Webflow Hosting processes over 1.5 billion page views a month. That’s 2x more than CNN.com and BBC.com, combined.” They already have 100+ data centers and servers worldwide with an infinitely scalable server fleet.


  1. SSL certificates come standard. For free. On every site. So you enjoy better SEO. And your site visitors never have to see those unnerving security warnings!


“When your all-time biggest traffic spike hits, you’ll be up and running without a hitch.”


In addition, Hosting through Webflow is affordable in comparison to paying for each of these services individually or going with another provider.

How Webflow’s hosting features and prices stack up against the competitors: 




Webflow also offers Service Licenses Agreements and Enterprise Agreements for larger Enterprise companies looking for custom plans. 


Exporting Code 

“Not everyone can host with Webflow — that's why Webflow lets users with a Lite plan and above export Webflow's clean, standards-compliant code to use whenever, wherever, and however they'd like.” - Webflow


Because all websites are coded in clean semantic HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript, and the code is available for export, you’re not locked into keeping your front-end developed site on their platform or CMS. 


Just export and download your site’s raw code, assets, etc in one clean package and hand-off to your development team of choice to deploy to whichever hosting provider or platform you’d prefer. 


Some clients will, for example, ask us to design the site in Figma, develop in Webflow, and then export the code out to a custom platform. We’re here to help you choose the right tool for your specific scope of work and are not exclusively tied to Webflow, although it’s used within our process for front-end development one way or another.

Webflow is a Front-End Development Tool. What Does That Mean? 

When you build a website on a platform, you’re typically stuck with that platform (Wordpress, Squarespace, Wix, etc). You can’t bring what you’ve built anywhere else. 


With Webflow, you’re not stuck or forced to keep your website on the platform because Webflow actually allows you to export the HTML5, CSS3, JS, and Assets of your website to bring to any other headless CMS. Because of this, you can use Webflow as a front-end development tool and then export any code you’ve created with Webflow to your development team of choice who can then continue integrating that front-end into any other platform or headless CMS that utilizes a front-end design (like Hubspot, Wordpress, or a custom CMS).


In this sense, Webflow serves as a front-end development tool that is part of a larger tech-stack utilized for the entire design and development process.


You’d still be able to integrate Hubspot and track the same analytics you were before. This gives you a seamless set-up bringing together your platform of choice and Webflow. 


Schedule a 30min discovery call today to learn more and see how we can help you upgrade your website and marketing pages. 


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