Building a website is not as simple as it may sound, it’s not just grabbing pictures and paragraphs of information and dumping it into an empty canvas hoping for the best. Having to know how to use HTML and other languages and making sure it all comes together in the end to work in both mobile and non-mobile mediums, different browsers (Google Chrome, Safari, Etc.), as well as iOS and Android is no easy task.
The current web design and development landscape provides many ways to build a website, ranging from very technical to some less technical and more visual. If we were to start in the more technical part of the spectrum, we would find that some developers can build a website without special software and tools. Then, as we move more towards the slightly less technical, there are special platforms to design and build websites in more visual ways. However, these tools such as WordPress or SquareSpace have little flexibility and many times still require a fair amount of coding expertise in order to customize them the way you would like. This can be time consuming and expensive. This is where Webflow comes in.
What is Webflow? How is it different?
Just like WordPress and SquareSpace, Webflow is a website development tool. However, it isn't just “another tool”.
Webflow allows websites to be coded visually, managing all the code behind the scenes. This paves the way for design-led websites that are 100% flexible and can be rapidly built and updated. Another key feature that Webflow offers is a fully integrated content management system (CMS). The Webflow CMS allows for an even more streamlined website and blog development by adopting a ‘content first’ approach - bridging the design-content gap.
Unlike Webflow, WordPress sites are big and slow with very little help with SEO, unless you really have the time and resources to invest in learning how to optimize WordPress using plugins, it really isn't worth it.
Why we chose Webflow
There are many aspects to Webflow that provide a more advantageous platform from which to base our website development. Starting with simplicity. Having a simple platform that allows even less experienced developers to create a website with minimal code knowledge is definitely a plus. Personally speaking, I truly have had a tough time with other platforms such as WordPress in my previous roles. These tools can have a big impact on your performance depending on your knowledge and level of coding, many times I would have to wait for the developer to show up in order to fully be able to optimize what I needed. This can also lead to a slower development of the website as well as frustrations from many key stakeholders.
Webflow can also lead to faster development of a website since it allows for the prototyping and development to be done simultaneously. Having this feature is definitely something that will not only help in the delivery of the website to the client, but also in their trust in us to get the job done fast, smart, with high quality, and to their specifications and visions.
Webflow is a visual platform, allowing the designer to do what a designer does best… design! Many times designers hand off their designs and are left waiting for developers to code, with little to no co-collaboration. However, with Webflow that has all gone and now we have a seamless execution from the designer who can comfortably build complex websites with the familiar tools of the Webflow platform. As we are designing real HTML and CSS, if features outside the scope of Webflow are required, with one click we can export a clean, semantic version of the design that’s already been coded visually by a designer. This all contributes to a smaller gap between our designer and our development team, allowing for a rapid website and app creation service for our clients.
Adding to the visual development, Webflow also allows for a fully customized website, something other tools do not fully have. Of course there are some templates to choose from but in the end, you can fully customize any website to meet the needs of the client. Some of the things that we were not able to fully do before moving to this new platform. All in all, a client wouldn’t want a website that looks just like many others that have used the same template, they want a fully custom one that not only shows their brand essence and vision, but that runs to their specifications and their needs.
This tool has helped Mäd to fully back each client with unique websites... Because let's face it, every client is different and our focus is our clients. Makes sense right?
On the contrary, Webflow is by no means perfect. As the Webflow team keeps adding new and awesome features, we can also start implementing those to our clients. But just like any tool, it will keep evolving and we will keep evolving with it.
We all know how fast technology moves, at Mäd, we strive to move faster.
Simple, visual, integrated. These are the three main points which you have to focus on when looking at Webflow. Simple in the way it works, Webflow shows that a complex website can be built in simple terms. Visual for designers, because Webflow allows one to focus on the “how does this look?” rather than “can I do this?” or “let me ask the developer”. Which also cuts down on lead time. Moreover, it is fully integrated with all the major components and applications needed to run a successful website.
Lastly, Webflow has not only helped Mäd to become faster and better at developing the websites our clients need, but we have also adopted this for our very own website. The better we become at managing our own website, blog, and other tools within Webflow, the better we become in making sure that we can deliver with time and precision every aspect of a website for each unique client.