So you want to build (or rebuild) your portfolio site with Webflow? Great choice! However some designers who are just starting out with Webflow find all the different Account and Site Plans quite confusing and aren't sure what they actually need to get started. If you want a quick explanation of all the different plans, be sure to check out one of my previous articles: Webflow pricing and account/site plans explained.
But in this article I want to help you decide if the Basic Site Plan or the CMS Plan might be right for you and your new portfolio site. As you might already know, site plans let you host your site with Webflow and allow you to connect your custom domain. Let's start by giving you a run down of some of the features and functionality of both plans, shall we?
The Basic Site plan is just a little less expensive than the CMS plan and obviously has the main difference that it doesn't include CMS functionality. It also only allows you halve of the form submissions, has a lower CDN bandwidth, less content editors and there is no site search functionality included. If you are running a portfolio site on which you display your work, want to give clients a way to contact you and are maybe thinking of including a blog at a later point in time, then most of the advanced features of the CMS plan won't be essential for you – with one exception: the actual CMS functionality. The CMS comes in handy in various ways when building your very own portfolio site.
Managing your portfolio projects
By using a CMS collection to store and manage your portfolio projects, you make life much easier for yourself. Instead of duplicating a static page with one of your client projects, every time you want to add a new project, you can simply add a new page via the CMS. This also gives you the opportunity to simply remove client projects from being displayed by putting them back into draft mode. Want to change an element that appears on all the client projects in your portfolio – such as removing the project summary or a tagline? The Basic Site Plan requires you to make this change on each and everyone of your projects, whereas with the CMS Plan you can make this change once and it will be done automatically on all of your projects. And let's face it, as Designers we are often slow at updating our own portfolio because we are busy with client work – so anything that helps make the process of updating your site quicker is very welcome!
Setting up a blog or news section
I couldn't run this blog without Webflow's CMS functionality. Adding or removing blog posts, making changes or scheduling posts to be published at a certain time/day would just not be possible without the CMS. While you might not have a blog on your site, it might be something you want to think about in the future. Even if you have a YouTube channel or podcast which you create content for regularly, it is super beneficial to also make new episodes and videos available on your own site and you can do so best via Webflow's CMS. Since CMS collections can be adapted to your needs (for instance, you can embed videos from your YouTube channel or other multimedia content), it is quite easy to constantly show new content on your site.
Adding team members
Some Designers enjoy working as Freelancers, others like to build their own agency and scale up. If you add members to your team, you might want to display those on your agency or portfolio site as well. This can be done much more easily with Webflow's CMS functionality, as you can easily remove or add team members as needed or change the details included in each team member profile.
Making content updates easier for non-designers
If you are a team of designers, marketers and account executives, content updates might not always be done by the Webflow Designer on your team. So, if you want to add a new blog article to your blog or add a new client project to your agency portfolio, you will need to use the Webflow Designer to do so. Since not everyone on your team might be familiar with Webflow, they will have a much harder time doing those updates. On the other hand if you use Webflow's CMS feature, new blog posts or client work can be added easily via Webflow's Client Editor.
All in all, if you are planning to regularly update your portfolio or agency site – and you definitely should do this – go with the CMS Site Plan. It makes updating content so much easier and makes it more likely you actually take the time to update your agency site.
If you've got any questions, don't hesitate to get in touch with me!