In this Webflow review, I’ll be looking into this website building platform, and see whether its editing interface and plans are the right option for you.
Webflow offers a powerful web creator that has features focused on professionals, developers, and web creators.
It’s more than a regular website builder, strongly aimed novices looking to have a simple website. Oh no – I found Webflow to be much more than that. But it comes at a price – for novice users, it may be too big of a bite to chew.
Before I get started with this Webflow review, it’s important to understand exactly what this platform is like.
In general, Webflow unites two products under the same hood – Webflow Designer and Webflow CMS. While their ultimate goal is the same (build websites!), there are a couple of differences that you should know.
Webflow allows you to get a fairly simple website building experience by just answering a few key questions – without design or coding experience.
And the editing experience is both simple and powerful.
I could drag and drop elements all around like in other website builders but also I can do some advanced editing like adding margins, padding, and other CSS styles and see them changing instantly.
Or even some pretty cool animations.
On top of that, eCommerce is available as well – but you’ll need to purchase a bigger plan.
Available in more expensive plans, Webflow CMS highly increases the scope of editing you can do.
In fact, Webflow will pretty much immediately ask you to go through a 40-minute course that’s going to give you some of the basics of using the CMS,
And well – it’s worth it. With an interface, similar to an Adobe product, and customization to match, it’s a website designer’s CMS first, and everything else second.
Webflow Designer is focused on people making a regular website by themselves. Webflow CMS is a designer-focused platform, designed for freelancers and agencies, building websites for a living.
And now, that we know what these two ways of editing your website are like, it’s time to go deeper into this Webflow review and see what it all really means to you.
Webflow can cost from literally nothing, to several hundred dollars per month, or even more. However, the pricing can get a little bit complicated, as they’re separated in Website (suited for people or companies building a website for themselves), and Account (suited for freelancers and teams making websites as their job), so we’ll need to break things down to more detail.
Webflow’s cheapest Editor plan that includes hosting, is called Website Basic and the price starts from $12/month for a simple site.
To create a blog (and get a CMS), there is the Website CMS plan which costs $16/month.
If you need to build a shop, the eCommerce Standard plan, which costs $29/month, is the way to go.
“Website plans” restricts you to build just one website. With Basic, costing $12/month, there is everything needed to build a simple site that receives up to 25,000 visitors per month. It includes a custom domain, a free SSL certificate, and CDN is included for faster page loads.
For dynamic content like blogs or news websites, there is the CMS plan that costs $16/month. It has everything the Basic plans have to offer but allows 4x more visitors (100,000) per month. This plan unlocks 2,000 records in the database, up to 3 content editor accounts, and access to the limited CMS API.
For big websites that have high traffic, there is a Business plan that costs $36/month. It includes full access to the CMS API, and also adds up to 1 million visitors per month. There can be up to 10 content editor accounts.
To create an online store there are multiple Ecommerce plans.
The cheapest of them is the Standard plan that costs $29/month. Buying this plan is like buying the CMS plan (same features) but it includes an entire store that you can fill with products to sell. This plan also integrates payment gateways that will charge you 2% for every transaction if the business has below $50K in yearly sales volume – so consider that an additional fee.
For higher volume businesses and really big stores, there are the Plus and Advanced plans, costing $74/month and $212/month respectively. These two plans include the same features of the Business plan but have 0% transaction fee.
The main difference between the two is the number of staff accounts (10 for Plus, and 15 for Advanced), and a sales limit ($200k for Plus, unlimited for Advanced).
Now – there are also “Account Plans” – divided into “Individual” and “Team” packages.
What are they all about? Well – these plans don’t include hosting, instead, they just give you access to the platform, which you can use to build websites either for you or your clients.
The websites published here use a webflow.io subdomain, if you or your clients want to go live then you have to purchase a Website plan for that project.
To unlock 10 projects, 100 statics pages, and 50 CMS items, there is the cheapest plan called Lite that costs $16/month. The Pro option, however, costs $35/month for unlimited projects but keeps the limit of pages and CMS of the previous plan.
For Teams, it will cost you $35/month per person. With this, Webflow will allow you to create a website for another company with multiple developers sharing it in real-time.
Oh, and last but not least, prices here are billed annually. So you need to pay the entire year upfront to get these discounts. Paying month by month will increase the monthly cost of the plan up to 44.82%. For example, the Standard plan will jump from $29/month to $42/month.
Creating a website in Webflow from scratch is fast and easy. For this Webflow review, I followed a short step by step tutorial and soon found myself inside a beautiful drag-and-drop editor. Easy enough.
But editing the website…Oooooh, that’s a whole different tale.
With so many things included and so many options to edit even the smallest details, mastering the Webflow editor is going to be genuinely difficult.
The starting process of Webflow is (deceptively) similar to regular, beginner-friendly website builders.
You start with a form to fill, that information is then used to create a website tailored to my needs.
After that, I can choose a blank website or keep going with the suggested one.
For this Webflow review, I chose Business Starter, so I can start modifying and editing the website without building it from scratch. After completing the form, Webflow takes its time to build it all.
But the tutorial doesn’t end here. After Webflow finished creating the website, I saw a Welcome pop up window where I could take a tour of the main features of the Designer editing tool.
And tell you what – you better pay attention to that tour, because it might soon get tricky.
Even if you have experience with website builders and their interface, it might be a bit overwhelming to see the Webflow UI for the first time. It has many different options, on both sides of the screen and also when you hover over the element.
Now that’s definitely not a BAD thing. However, it might take a while for you to get used to things. Given the level of your experience, however, the mileage may vary.
For the essential website configuration, however, you can use the Dashboard. Let’s check it out.
Here I can modify not only the title and domain of the page but also the hosting plan, billing, SEO configuration and integrations with third-party apps. I can even do backups or manage my custom codes.
There is another option called Editor. This is NOT the drag and drop tool. This is where you can upload content to the CMS or Products in the online store.
Webflow has a gallery of more than 100 types of templates, classified both thematically (Business, Portfolio, Restaurant, Blog, etc), as well as according to the chosen plan (CMS, Ecommerce). There are 42 free templates and the premium ones aren’t all that expensive – averaging out at about $50.
All of the templates have a pre-established structure (header, footer, navigation menu). But you can customize the text, image, and video on them. CMS templates are prepared for publishing content, eCommerce ones have a basket and checkout pages.
Templates look professional and modern, and all of them are responsive. That means that the entire website will look good on multiple devices despite different screen sizes.
Webflow is not a business platform – but it doesn’t mean that it lacks business features. In this part of this Webflow review, let’s have a look at some of the major features that will help you reach your goals.
With the “Ecommerce plan” (starting from $29 a month), you will be able to sell using your Webflow store.
Also, to get the store ready, there are 12 mandatory steps to do. It looks like Webflow wants to teach you stuff in every corner before you start doing anything. The business must have an address, a currency for transactions, shipping and handling method, taxes, and a product to publish.
You also need to configure a hosting plan, SSL certificate, and payment gateways (Stripe or PayPal). After these initial configurations, you can start publishing products – which, after you go through all the training, is a pretty simple process.
Webflow includes a fair amount of freedom with third-party integrations. With one of the most diverse integration libraries out there, it has a lot of interesting things that businesses might love.
There’s really is plenty. Things like Google Analytics, Shopify, MailChimp, and other major business products are all there. But you’ll also find more niche options, like interactive story creators and accessibility tools. Overall, there’s plenty for everyone to love.
Less of a business feature, and more of an “everyone-needs-to-have-it” feature, keeping backups of the previous versions of your website is a must.
You need to be assured that the entire data of the website is saved periodically and that the restore process is simple so you can react quickly if problems arise.
Backups in Webflow can be accessible from the Dashboard. Here you can see the entire detail of each one of them and a preview of what is stored to check if it is the one you want to restore.
With only one click you can restore a Backup to your live website at any given time.
Webflow free Starter plan allows you to restore the last 2 automatically generated backups. Paid plans, however, have unlimited backups.
If you have some issues using Webflow and wish to contact customer support – there are options for you out there. Webflow offers support from Monday through Friday, from 6 AM to 6 PM Pacific Time. Help is classified between Guides, Courses, and a Forum.
To access support, in the visual editor, there is a question mark that opens a menu with an option called “Help & Feedback”.
Here, you’ll have a few options to choose from:
Guides are step by step tutorials. Courses are bigger and more complex than guides, including a lot of videos within. In the community Forum, you can find help from other users or check solutions to problems that may have happened on other websites already.
Guides are arranged by topics, like Getting started for beginners or Design to understand the visual designer and the editor.
“Courses” contains a lot of information. For example, the “Webflow 101 crash course” has 42 videos and to complete it you need almost 2 hours. So, it’s not a quick troubleshooting guide – instead, it’s a guide to make you able to fix all the problems yourself.
Forums are like any other forum out there. So, it’s a list of discussions and threads about some issues people found, as well as suggestions or solutions made by the community.
But sometimes, you might need more help than the one found in the documentation or tutorials. For this, you can contact a support agent.
It is a pity that Webflow does not have common contact ways like live chat or telephone. The only contact I got was through a form, which will be answered within business hours when support is available.
If you ask a question with the 6 AM – 6 PM Pacific Time window, you can expect an answer in a couple of hours. If you ask a question outside the hours, the response usually reaches you within the first working hour – which is pretty good.
They answered my question by referring to one of the courses. But after that, they added a line saying that the scope of support is limited only on technical issues, account questions, and application errors. I think this is to filter and narrow the amount of queries support agents receive.
During this Webflow review, I found out that the performance of this platform is…really good.
Guess that should come as no surprise – Webflow uses a combination of Amazon Web Services servers and the Fastly CDN. This lead to reliable server performance, and good uptime. And Webflow did a good job optimizing its websites, no there won’t be any issues there as well.
For the first test, I created a test Webflow website and tracked its performance.
Not a single downtime in more than 3 and a half weeks, and response times however at just over 100ms is very good. It’s expected for website servers to be up around 99.98% of the time and have a response time of around half a second. Both metrics are better here. It’s good for you and your visitors.
Now, for worldwide performance, I put the very same website on BitCatcha and tested how it performs around the world.
Well, no major surprises here. The Fastly CDN shines bright here – and your visitors all around the world will have solid response times.
For the final test, it’s GTMetrix – that essentially looks at how well-optimized the website is, and what are the possible bottlenecks in your site’s performance.
No bottlenecks. There are no bottlenecks.
My website got an A (100%) in PageSpeed and a score of A (94%) on YSlow. Page fully loaded in 1.8 seconds and the number of requests was very low (33). Often, this is where website builders slip up – not the case here.
Overall, the performance of Webflow websites is great. It aced every test with excellent results. The servers are fine, the CDN works well, and the overall optimization of the platform is great. If you’re taking performance very seriously, Webflow will be a good pick for you.
If you are a creative professional, a designer or developer of web pages for your clients, Webflow has a lot to offer.
This platform is not suited for beginners. The learning curve is simply a little bit too steep. That being said, there are plenty of resources available that can turn any willing novice into a pro – but if your entire goal is to have a good website done quickly, it won’t be good.
For willing professionals, however, Webflow is a treat. The editing functions are very in-depth, and there are a lot of editing functions, that make this a full-on website development platform, perfect for freelancers and website building agencies.
Read this Webflow review and thought that this might not be the platform for you. I feel you – but there are some other great options to consider.
Wix is highly customizable, has brilliant templates, and, most importantly – is really simple to use. Including a powerful drag and drop editor, and code editing capabilities, Wix will still allow you to make a beautiful website – just a little bit easier.
With the Combo plan, costing $12/month, you’ll have a website with a free domain, SSL, and unlimited bandwidth. It is cheaper than the same alternative offered by Webflow.
Looking to go even easier? SITE123 is perhaps the most simple to use website builder out there. Its visual editor isn’t full of options or functions – but everyone can learn it in minutes.
It is one of the cheapest website builders too. With the Basic plan of $4.68/month, you can have a free domain, 10GB storage, and 5GB bandwidth. Pretty good.
If you need more power or more professional tools and team editing options to build your website, then Sitejet is for you. It’s focused on web developers, businesses and creators – same as Webflow.
And it’s a fair bit more affordable.
For only $5/month you can have a website with unlimited storage and bandwidth. Every plan in Sitejet will have automated backups, SSL, CDN, and protection against DDoS attacks. A worthy competitor to Webflow.