Back to Catalogue

How does Webflow work?

In this guide, you'll get a comprehensive overview of Webflow. We'll delve into its core functionalities, explore its features, and even compare it with other leading website builders in the market. 

9 October, 2023
post image

Web design has evolved significantly over the years, and a big part of that evolution can be attributed to platforms like Webflow. With its user-friendly interface and powerful features, Webflow has democratized web design, making it accessible to both novices and professionals.

In this guide, you'll get a comprehensive overview of Webflow. We'll delve into its core functionalities, explore its features, and even compare it with other leading website builders in the market. 

By the end, you'll have a clear understanding of what Webflow brings to the table and the insights needed to determine if Webflow is worth it for your business needs.

Want to have an efficient, business-oriented design?

View a recorded webinar with Pavel Tseluyko on how design adds value to your business.

Watch now

An introduction to Webflow

Webflow is more than just another tool in the web design toolbox; it's a completely new way we approach website creation. It practically aims to merge the worlds of web design and development into a singular, cohesive process. 

Gone are the days when these two domains operated in silos. With Webflow, designers aren't just crafting visuals; they're shaping interactive and responsive experiences, all without diving deep into lines of code. 

A powerful platform, Webflow offers an intuitive interface that's user-friendly, even for those who might not have a background in tech.

What is Webflow used for?

What is Webflow used for?
What is Webflow used for?

Webflow is a comprehensive web design tool that serves multiple purposes:

  1. Design without coding. Webflow provides a visual interface that allows designers to craft websites without writing code. This doesn’t mean it lacks depth but rather that it translates design choices into clean, production-ready code.
  2. Responsive design. With its responsive tools, designers can ensure their websites look great on all devices, from desktops to smartphones.
  3. Content Management System. Webflow includes a built-in CMS, making it easier for users to manage and update content dynamically.
  4. Animations and interactions. Beyond static designs, users can integrate complex animations and interactions, enhancing user engagement.
  5. E-commerce integration. For those looking to sell online, Webflow has robust e-commerce features for building online stores.
  6. Hosting. Once a site is ready, users can host it directly through Webflow, ensuring optimal performance and security.
  7. Custom interactivity. With Webflow's interactions, designers can trigger animations based on scroll position, clicks, and more.

How Webflow works

Dive into the mechanics of Webflow development. Here's a breakdown of its design, functionality, and the unique elements that make it tick.

Is your website still on WordPress?

That's so last century. Let's bring it to Webflow finally.

Learn more

Designing websites

Webflow's design interface offers a visual canvas that closely mimics graphic design tools. However, instead of just creating mockups, you're designing live, interactive websites. 

Elements like div blocks, containers, and grids provide the structure. Meanwhile, visual controls let you style typography, colors, and spacing, translating your design choices into clean CSS. The platform's Box Model approach ensures pixel-perfect precision. 

Webflow’s responsive design tools also make it easy to adapt designs for different screen sizes, ensuring your website looks polished across devices.

CMS, CSS, and the Editor

Webflow's CMS is intuitive, enabling seamless content management without back-end coding. You design the content structures, define custom content fields, and populate them dynamically on your pages. 

The CSS controls in Webflow are visual, allowing designers to apply styles without writing a single line of CSS code. 

The Editor, on the other hand, is for collaborators and clients. It provides a simpler interface to edit content directly on the live site without affecting underlying designs. 

Building with Webflow

Building in Webflow starts with a blank canvas or pre-designed layouts. From here, drag-and-drop elements—from basic div blocks to specialized widgets like sliders. 

The true power is in binding these elements with the CMS, enabling dynamic content updates. With interactions and animations, elements can move, scale, or fade based on triggers like clicks or scroll positions. 

Webflow's visual approach ensures you see real-time changes, ensuring the final output matches your vision.

Hosting websites

Webflow’s hosting leverages Amazon Web Services and Fastly, ensuring your website loads quickly and reliably. It also ensures automatic backups, SSL certification, and scaling to handle large traffic spikes. 

You get the benefit of enterprise-grade hosting without the complexities. Moreover, Webflow offers both traditional and e-commerce hosting plans, catering to diverse needs.

Learn more about Webflow pricing and plans for development projects in our blog.

Connecting domains

Linking your custom domain to a Webflow site is straightforward. Once you’ve purchased a domain from a registrar, you’ll configure its DNS settings to point to Webflow. 

This process involves updating A records and CNAME, for which Webflow provides step-by-step guidance. 

Within 48 hours, usually much sooner, your custom domain will reflect your Webflow site, providing a professional touch to your online presence.

Adding plugins and integrations

While Webflow is feature-rich, sometimes projects need additional functionalities. Through the Webflow Marketplace, users can find and integrate third-party plugins, widgets, and integrations. 

Whether it's adding advanced forms, chatbots, or analytics tools, the platform supports seamless integration. Webflow's custom code embed feature ensures that even non-native solutions can be integrated with minimal fuss.

Built-in resources

Webflow isn’t just a tool; it’s also a learning platform. The Webflow University offers many tutorials, courses, and articles, guiding users from the basics to advanced topics. 

Whether you're troubleshooting a design issue or exploring new functionalities, there's likely a resource available. The community forums further enrich this, where Webflow enthusiasts share ideas, solutions, and inspiration, fostering a collaborative learning culture.

Webflow combines visual design with coding automation, challenging established platforms like WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix. Each tool has its merits, and the best choice often hinges on the user's specific needs, technical comfort level, and design aspirations. 

Webflow vs. WordPress

WordPress is a powerful, open-source platform known for its vast ecosystem of plugins and themes. Its strength lies in its flexibility; however, it often requires more technical expertise, especially for custom designs. 

Webflow, on the other hand, offers a more visual approach to design, making it intuitive for designers to bring visions to life without coding. 

While WordPress may be more suited for those familiar with PHP and advanced customizations, Webflow is a boon for those seeking a marriage of design freedom and coding simplicity.

Webflow Vs. Squarespace

Squarespace is renowned for its beautiful, templated designs and user-friendly interface, perfect for non-techies wanting a polished site quickly. Its drag-and-drop editor is straightforward, but it may limit more advanced customizations. 

Webflow, in contrast, offers greater design flexibility. While it maintains user-friendliness, its edge is in allowing intricate designs and animations without needing external plugins or custom code. 

For sheer design flexibility, Webflow holds an advantage, but for rapid, template-driven deployments, Squarespace shines.

Webflow Vs. Wix

Wix offers a vast range of templates and an easy-to-use editor, making it popular among small businesses and individuals. Its ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) even creates websites based on user answers to a few questions. 

Webflow, however, offers more granular control over design elements, enabling more unique and personalized website structures. 

While Wix is excellent for those wanting a quick setup with decent customization options, Webflow appeals to those seeking a deeper dive into design without the constraints of templates.

Want to have an efficient, business-oriented design?

View a recorded webinar with Pavel Tseluyko on how design adds value to your business.

Watch now

Final thoughts on Webflow

Webflow has undeniably carved a unique space in the web design arena, offering a refreshing blend of design freedom and codeless development. 

Its visual interface, paired with the power of a dynamic CMS, is a testament to how web design tools have evolved, catering to both novices and seasoned professionals. 

Is your website still on WordPress?

That's so last century. Let's bring it to Webflow finally.

Learn more

While it may not replace every other platform out there, Webflow surely offers compelling advantages that can't be ignored. As with any tool, it's essential to weigh its features against specific needs. 

But if you're seeking a platform that blends the intuitiveness of graphic design software with the potency of web development, Webflow is a contender worth considering.

And when paired with our expertise at Merge, it's a combination that guarantees success in the competitive online space.

call to action image

Design packages for your startup

Ideal for early-stage product UIs and websites.

See pricing
author

CEO and Founder of Merge

My mission is to help startups build software, experiment with new features, and bring their product vision to life.

My mission is to help startups build software, experiment with new features, and bring their product vision to life.

You may interested in

Let’s take this to your inbox

Join our newsletter for expert tips on growth, product design, conversion tactics, and the latest in tech.

Need help with product design or development?

Book a call
Estimate light