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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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
“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.
“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
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.
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.