Throughout some of the unofficial Webflow Facebook groups and elsewhere I’ve noticed that there’s been some confusion about the pricing and hosting. So I thought I’d give a brief rundown of how all this works, so you can hopefully make a better informed choice when setting your own (or your client’s) website up with Webflow. Please note that this blog post hasn’t been approved by Webflow and that I am in no way associated with the company – I’m just a regular user and designer who utilises Webflow for client work. Oh, and if you haven't got a Webflow account yet, you can get one here (yep, that's an affiliate link). So here we go…
You’re a creative who wants to design their own portfolio website plus sites for your clients?
You’ll start by getting an "account plan". Account plans let you design sites using the Webflow Designer and publish the sites using a Webflow staging domain (yoursite.io). If you’d like to connect your custom domain you’ll need to add a "site plan". If you don’t want to use the Webflow CMS, the “basic” site plan will do, however most sites will require the “CMS” plan to take advantage of Webflow’s superb content management system.
So, to recap: get an account plan to build your site and get a site plan to connect your site to a custom domain.
Can I just use Webflow’s free "account plan" to build my site? I can build up to 2 projects (websites) with this plan, so this should be enough to start with?
You could do that, but you would face quite a few limitations by doing so. The free plan only lets you build up to 2 sites, but it also only lets you create up to 2 static pages per project. If you’re just designing a one-page website then this might be fine, but if you site has more pages then this isn’t enough. With the free plan you can also not transfer projects to another user (essential if you want to give ownership of a website to your client after completion) and you can’t export your code (meaning you can’t use the code for use on other platforms such as Wordpress).
Recap: If you just need a one-page site or if you just want to play around with Webflow get the free plan. But if you’re serious about building sites for clients get at least the “Lite Plan”.
Which "site plan" do I need and do I actually need a "site plan" at all?
If you want to connect your site (or your client’s site) to a custom domain (such as mydomain.com), you’ll have to pay for a "site plan". For static sites that aren’t being updated very often a “Basic Plan” is fully sufficient. However, most projects benefit from the Webflow CMS that lets clients add content easily. Keep in mind, if your client requires eCommerce functionality you’ll have to choose one of Webflow’s eCommerce plans.
So, which plan does my client need to have when I’ve built him a website?
Your client just needs to sign up for a free "account plan" and you can transfer the website you’ve built to them. Now they (or you as their service provider) need to sign up for a “site plan” to connect their site to a custom domain.
Alternatively you can keep your client’s website on your own account, add a “site plan” to the project and set up client billing, so the client can pay for hosting. This is especially useful if you plan to do ongoing maintenance work on your client’s site such as adding features that can’t be changed via the client editor.
To recap: Your client just needs to pay for a “site plan”. Most clients are fine with either the basic or the CMS plan ($US12 or $16).
Limited projects on certain Webflow account plans? What’s that all about?
So, if you’ve chosen Webflow’s free starter plan you can only build up to 2 projects, if you’ve chosen the “lite plan” you can build up to 10 projects. Only the “pro plan” lets you build an unlimited amount of projects and store them in your dashboard. However: Sites that have a “site plan” (meaning as soon as you host a project with Webflow using a custom domain) added don’t count towards the 2 page and 10 page limit. Here’s an example: you’ve got the “Lite Plan” and have built 10 projects (websites) with it. Then you add a custom domain to one of the projects (pay for hosting). Now you’re able to build one more project again as one spot becomes available again. You can of course avoid all this by signing up for the “Pro Plan” or transferring a client’s site to their Webflow account after completing the project.
Any questions? Contact me here.
Still looking for a great alternative to PayPal for accepting client payments? Check out TransferWise – a tool I use for any non-Aussie clients. You can read more about it in a previous blog article or try out TransferWise here (yep, this is an affiliate link).