So, you're a Wordpress user, maybe you're a web designer who makes use of one of the many site builder plugins available for Wordpress. Some examples include Divi, Beaver Builder or Elementor. There are also other Wordpress plugins or theme builders such as Semplice (often used by designers to build their own portfolio site quickly) or Avada. But now you're considering to dive into Webflow, as you've heard lots of great things about it. Cool, so in this post I'll answer 5 of the most frequent questions designers have asked before making the move to Webflow. By the way, if you haven't tried out Webflow yet, you can get a free starter account here (yep, I'm an affiliate + avid Webflow user myself).
I'm using a Wordpress based site builder (Divi, Beaver etc.), why should I switch to Webflow?
There's plenty of reasons I could mention in this article. However, I am just going to point out the ones that were most important to me when making the switch. Consider this: no matter which Wordpress based site builder you use, you are still using Wordpress with all it's faults and annoyances. Maintaining the platform, updating plugins, solving conflicts, ensuring security of your (or your client's) sites... these are all things that weren't much fun for me. With Webflow there are no plugins needed, hence you don't have to spend time maintaining them. Site security is handled by Webflow if you're hosting your site with them. You are also not restricted by what the site builder plugin allows you to do and have heaps of freedom when it comes to designing your site. Since you have access to class names and the actual structure of each page, you have way more control over how the site is built in terms of code. Webflow also allows you to export your code and use it elsewhere. Having a nicely structured site with properly named classes and semantic HTML is important and you can influence this within Webflow. In my eyes Webflow sits in the middle between Wordpress and site builders like Squarespace or Wix. It gives you heaps of flexibility in terms of layout and design without the time consuming maintenance work or coding by hand and doesn't restrict you with pre-made templates that need to be used as a starting point.
I use a particular SEO plugin like Yoast for my Wordpress site, but this isn't available in Webflow! Will my SEO suffer and how do I replicate what the plugin does on a Webflow site?
Wordpress plugins such as Yoast don't automatically do search engine optimisation for you. You still have to do the work and write suitable titles and descriptions etc. Webflow lets you adjust SEO settings including the title tag, meta description and open graph setting for each page. And we all know now that content is king and stuffing a page full of keywords is not going to get you very far. So, you can still optimise your site for search engines via page settings, connect your site with Google Analytics and initiate Google site verification. To learn more about SEO on your Webflow site, I recommend the following resources directly from the Webflow blog or the Webflow University site:
How to not write for SEO (Webflow blog post)
Website SEO: the ultimate guide to ranking on Google (Webflow blog post)
SEO Fundamentals Course (Webflow University)
SEO and Webflow: The essential guide (Webflow blog)
Webflow is more expensive than my (client's) current hosting provider that I use for Wordpress sites. Is Webflow worth it?
Webflow might be a bit more expensive than your current web host, that's for sure. However, you've got lots of advantages by using Webflow as a host like fast site load times, less work keeping the site secure and "one-click" publishing of changes. I've outlined some other advantages of Webflow in the previous question as well. You can however always export the code you created visually with Webflow and use it on another platform, which means you're not forced to host with Webflow. Keep in mind though that the Webflow CMS and forms only work if you host with Webflow. Also, if you want to build with Webflow and publish the site via Wordpress or Shopify, take a look at Udesly, which makes the implantation process easier. I personally host all my client's websites with Webflow, as well as my own portfolio site.
I use a Wordpress site builder (Elementor, Divi etc.). Will it be hard to learn Webflow? How do I get started?
Webflow is different from the website builders mentioned here, since it is not just a drag-and-drop editor but a visual site builder. It follows the rules of HTML and CSS, so you can't just move elements around as you please. Therefore the user interface might also appear to be a bit more complex than what you're used to from Elementor and similar tools. However, there are lots of great resources available to get your head around Webflow. Definitely check out the Webflow University which has beginner courses both on web development concepts as well as Webflow itself. I am also planning to do a separate blog post on how to best get started with Webflow – so stay tuned!
The site doesn't belong to me if I am hosting with Webflow. What happens if Webflow disappears or gets bought by a competitor?
This is valid question which is also often asked for people using other closed platforms such as Squarespace. Personally I have a great feeling in terms of Webflow's longevity as a company. However, you should know that with Webflow you can export your code, as well as all assets uploaded (images etc.). There is also a feature that allows you to export CMS content as a CVS file. You can then use this data to build the site on another platform. Some more info about exporting your code can be found in Webflow's own blog article "Exporting your Webflow website: The ultimate checklist".
Haven't got a Webflow account yet? You can get a free starter account here (yep, I'm an Webflow affiliate). I publish a new blog post every Tuesday and Thursday. Upcoming articles tell you how to get your clients onboard with Webflow, explain the in's and out's of the Webflow team plan and introduce you to a neat little tool that makes client feedback and revisions so much easier. So stay tuned!