This past weekend I built and launched a new website in an afternoon using Webflow. It’s not the best or most original site design I’ve ever done, but the Webflow user experience is decent, the site works great and I can’t believe how quickly it came together.
In fact, I put this particular project off for over a year because I thought it was going to take way too much time. I was wrong!
If you need an updated portfolio website or proof of concept for your startup, Webflow is the way to go.
What Is Webflow?
If you haven’t heard of it, Webflow is a visual website builder that lets you design, build, and launch completely custom websites without writing code. You can build custom blogs, portfolios, ecommerce stores, and more with a flexible CMS.
They offer lots of free templates and tutorials to help you get started, and you don’t have to pay anything until your site goes live. It also works great with both Figma and Sketch.
If you’re a longtime reader, you may recall that I launched a side business back in 2020. When I’m not doing UX consulting, I write production music for various music libraries.These companies curate large collections of instrumental music used as underscore for corporate videos, events, YouTube and games.
They are big marketplaces with their own online platforms, so I didn’t need a website to get started.But now I’m going after custom clients and needed a professional website. Originally I was just going to build it in WordPress.
As much as I love my UX blog, WordPress is a pain these days. There’s just too many moving parts and the editor is cumbersome and clunky. Instead I wanted something quick with an easy-to-use interface. I tried both Squarespace and Wix, but both of them were very limited and had a frustrating user experience.
Webflow User Experience
The Webflow user experience isn’t the best either, but I think it’s much better than the other two products. And while their marketing says it’s a “no-code” platform, it definitely helps to know a little bit of code.
For example, I got stuck on an alignment issue with the nav bar for almost two hours that drove me nuts. Making changes quickly within Webflow requires knowing where specific settings hide. This often means opening side panels upon side panels, some of which contain endless lists. It turned out the default padding didn’t match the free template I’d chosen.
It was a simple fix, but frustrating because 1) it wasn’t obvious where I needed to make the change and 2) if I hadn’t stumbled upon the padding setting I’d still be working on it.
Awesome Customer Support
What really sold me on Webflow was their 24/7 customer support. At one point I had an ugly error message on my home page that I just couldn’t figure out. I submitted a support ticket and they got back to me within an hour with a loom video plus written transcript of how to fix it. That blew me away.
The New Site
Once the home page error was fixed I launched the site in time for dinner. Check it out at maryshawmusic.com.
Webflow isn’t perfect, but it’s a great solution for anyone who needs a website done quickly and efficiently. They have great support, security and a ton of useful tutorials. They’re also getting a lot of traction in the marketplace. As more companies adopt Webflow I think the user experience will also improve. Have you tried Webflow or other site builders? How have they worked out for you?
I like Webflow so much I signed up to become an affiliate, so if you try it out using my link and join a paid plan I’ll earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. As always, thanks for reading!
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