Review of Webflow Website Builder. Important Pros and Cons

In this Webflow review, I examine a tool for creating websites that heavily emphasizes design flexibility. Is it effective for establishing your online presence, or would a different strategy serve you better?

Let’s investigate!

I’ll give you the following in this thorough examination of Webflow:

  • An explanation of what Webflow is, as well as how to make use of it.
  • A comprehensible breakdown of their pricing structures.
  • An analysis of the most important aspects of Webflow’s graphical interface.
  • A rundown of all the most important benefits and drawbacks of using Webflow.
  • A rundown of the top alternative website builders that should be taken into consideration.

When you reach the conclusion of this review, you will have a much better idea of whether or not Webflow is an appropriate choice for the construction of your website.

Let’s begin with a crucial query.

Webflow Overview

Webflow is a platform for building websites that enables users to create their own websites as well as online stores. A monthly or yearly subscription fee is required in order to make use of this “software as a service” (SaaS) design tool that is hosted in the cloud and can be accessed through a web browser.

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The homepage of Webflow.com

You have two options when working with Webflow:

  • By using Webflow for both the design and hosting of your website (and using the Webflow editor to update it).
  • You can do this by using the platform to design a website, but then exporting the code for the website and hosting it on your own server space.

The majority of users go with the first option, as websites created with Webflow are more reliable when they are hosted on Webflow’s own servers, and it is also simpler to make changes to these websites (because you get access to a content management system and a style editor, neither of which are available in the self-hosted version).

Users who select the second option, which involves exporting their Webflow websites so that they can be hosted elsewhere, are typically web design agencies or professional web developers who are accustomed to updating and editing their websites through the use of coding rather than content management systems.

Webflow gives you access to a wide variety of editable templates, which can be adapted to better reflect your company’s image and the services it offers. Additionally, it includes a number of features that enable you to develop a website that is both very unique and visually impressive.

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The “Bangwelo” Webflow template is an example.

Webflow is a web development tool that was established in 2013 and has its headquarters in San Francisco. It markets itself as a ‘no-code’ web development tool, which means that it is a platform that enables both non-programmers and programmers to create websites without the need for development skills.

Despite the fact that it emphasizes having “no code,” Webflow allows you to edit the CSS of your website and even add HTML or Javascript to it.

How many people use Webflow, and who is it intended for?

The Webflow platform is designed to serve a diverse group of users, including the following examples:

  • Solo preneurs.
  • Proprietors of modest enterprises.
  • Web designers working independently.
  • Web design agencies.
  • Large brands as well as technology-based businesses.

Now, when selecting a platform to build your business website with, it is extremely important to know that it is going to be there for the long haul, and it appears likely that this will be the case with Webflow. The company has recently succeeded in raising more than 140 million dollars in funding for the continuation of its expansion and development, and its current market value is 4 billion dollars.

Builtwith.com, a company that tracks internet statistics, estimates that there are approximately 320,000 live websites that were created and are hosted using Webflow. In addition, Zendesk, Dell, and Upwork are some of the companies that use its services.

As a tool for the construction of websites, Webflow appears to be a good bet in general.

However, how much does it cost to actually make use of it?

Webflow Pricing

Pricing for Webflow is perplexing.

This is due to the fact that using Webflow requires you to deal with three distinct sets of plans, which are referred to as “Site plans,” “Ecommerce plans,” and “Workspace plans.”

Site and eCommerce plans

The ‘Site’ and ‘Ecommerce’ plans are the ones that are the least complicated to comprehend. This is due to the fact that their functionality is very comparable to that of well-known online website builders such as Wix and Shopify.

In other words, with these plans, you pay a monthly fee, and in exchange, you get hosting, a content management system (CMS), and the option to map your site to a custom domain. These are all essential components that are required in order to construct a website or online store.

If you sign up for one of our ‘Ecommerce’ plans, we will also provide you with the necessary tools to sell your wares online.

The following is a breakdown of the pricing for the ‘Site’ and ‘Ecommerce’ plans:

Site plans

  • Starter — $0
  • Basic – $15
  • CMS — $20
  • Business — $45

Ecommerce plans

  • Standard — $42
  • Plus — $84
  • Advanced — $235
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Pricing for the “Site plans” from Webflow; these plans are excellent for blogs, portfolio websites, and brochure websites.

The following are some of the key distinctions that can be made between various “site plans”:

  • irrespective of whether or not you desire access to a content management system (the ‘Basic’ plan does not provide access to such a system; you are only able to build static websites with it), you can create websites with it.
  • how many “CMS items” (dynamic content items like blog posts and galleries) your website needs to have in order for it to be considered complete.
  • the number of people who could potentially visit your website each month.
  • room for storing things.
  • the total number of users who can make changes to your website.

To put it another way, the more expensive the plan, the more of everything that was listed above you get.

Regarding the “Ecommerce” plans, the following are the key distinctions:

  • you can sell 500 items on “Standard,” 1,000 items on “Plus,” and 3,000 items on “Advanced.”
  • Transaction costs: 2% for the “Standard” plan and 0% for all other plans.
  • Sales limits: $50k and $200k respectively for the “Standard” and “Plus” plans
  • Applies to sales revenue (the “Advanced” plan has no cap).
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Webflow’s ecommerce plans are priced differently.

Plans for the Workspace

The “Site” and “Ecommerce” plans are suitable for people who simply want to create their own website, whereas the “Workspace” plans are more suited to web designers and web design firms.

They enable you to oversee multiple websites and create them jointly with a number of users.

Significantly, you can export your site code with the ‘Workspace’ plans. In other words, if you want, you can just upload this code to your server or give it to a developer to improve.

(However, if you do this, you will only be able to export a static design and won’t be able to edit your site using the Webflow content management system once it is live.)

There are 4 different “Workspace” plans offered:

  • Beginning: $0 per month.
  • Core: $28 per month.
  • Growth: $60 per month.
  • Enterprise pricing is unique.

The following are the primary distinctions between these various pricing plans:

  • The number of users who are able to work on a project at the same time (1 on ‘Starter,’ 3 on ‘Core,’ and unlimited on ‘Ultimate’). 9 on the ‘Growth’ section, and a number that can be discussed for the ‘Enterprise’ section.
  • The number of sites that can be managed (two on the ‘Starter’ plan, three on the ‘Plus’ plan) 10 on the ‘Core’ plan, and an unlimited number on the ‘Growth’ and ‘Enterprise’ plans.)
  • Publishing permissions are something that can be defined on the “Growth” or “Enterprise” plans of the service.
  • Whether custom code can be added (this is possible on all plans except the ‘Starter’ one)
  • Whether or not the code for your website can be exported (once again, this is possible on all plans other than the “Starter” plan).
  • Security and improved customer support are included in the ‘Enterprise’ plan, which also provides access to a ‘customer success support manager.’ This provides a more ‘white glove’ customer support setup than the other plans, which only offer email support. If you are interested in learning more about the ‘Enterprise’ plan, you can learn more here.
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Pricing for Webflow’s “Workspace” plans; the paid plans let you work on multiple site designs simultaneously and offer collaboration features.

It is important to keep in mind that none of these ‘Workspace’ plans include hosting, do not permit the use of Webflow’s content management system (CMS), or allow you to map a site to a domain (yoursitename.com etc.).

In order to access all of those features, you will need to upgrade your workspace to either the ‘Site’ or ‘Ecommerce’ plan in addition to your existing workspace plan.

You’d be correct in assuming that everything is difficult to understand because it is. My opinion is that the pricing structure could use a lot of consolidation and simplification, and I’m sure that current Webflow users will disagree with me on this point, but in my view, it’s probably the aspect of the product that is the most discouraging.

But there are a lot of really nice features in Webflow once you get past the complicated pricing structure. If you can get past that, you’ll find that Webflow is a really good option.

Let’s get down to business and start with the visuals here.

Templates for Webflow

Webflow allows you to design a website from scratch; however, if you would rather use a template and make it your own, the Webflow template library contains more than one thousand options for you to select from. 46 of these don’t cost anything.

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Startups can purchase webflow templates.

You can search for templates based on the industry they were designed for, the language they were written in, the design features they featured, and more, making it very easy to find one that is appropriate for your project.

Quality of templates

The templates that are offered by Webflow are organized and presented in a variety of categories, such as portfolios, design, blogs, medical, and ecommerce.

The templates are of an exceptionally high quality; in addition to being contemporary, they are also aesthetically pleasing. They come with pre-built elements such as data capture forms, background videos, and online store pages, and it is possible to fully personalize all of these components.

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Webflow portfolio template named “Micky.”

There are many templates that make use of Webflow’s custom animation feature known as ‘Webflow interactions.’ This feature enables designers to create one-of-a-kind scroll effects, zoom effects, hover effects, and page transitions that come into play when visitors interact with your web pages in a variety of different ways.

The smoothness of these effects is truly remarkable; as a result, websites created with Webflow stand out in comparison to those created with Squarespace, Shopify, and other well-known website builders.

Wide range of typefaces

Webflow provides a large selection of fonts to choose from; you can use any of the more than 1,400 fonts offered by Google or any of the more than 20,000 typefaces offered by Adobe Fonts on your website. When compared to competing products such as Wix, Shopify, and BigCommerce, all of which come with significantly smaller typeface libraries, this gives you a significantly larger selection of fonts to choose from than you would otherwise have.

It is also easy to adhere to any general brand guidelines you may be using because there is such a wide range of fonts to choose from.

You are able to upload your own font to the platform if you want to use a custom font that is not included in Webflow’s font libraries. The platform supports the following 5 font formats: 

  • WOFF
  • TTF/OTF
  • WOFF 2.0
  • EOT
  • SVG

Templates responsiveness

All of the Webflow templates are fully responsive. This means that when viewed on a desktop computer, a tablet, or a mobile device, the templates will automatically resize themselves to fit the screen of the device on which they are being viewed.

You also have a great deal of leeway in terms of the appearance of your website when viewed on mobile devices because Webflow provides a canvas that is distinct from the one you use to work on the mobile version of your site.

In addition to this, Webflow gives you the ability to preview your website on specific smartphone brands, such as those made by Apple, Samsung, and Google.

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Editing Webflow’s “breakpoint” for mobile devices. According to screen width, mobile devices are listed on the canvas’ right side.

You are unable to design unique versions of your website for each type of mobile device; however, if you are able to preview how your website appears and functions on a variety of mobile devices, you will be able to make design decisions that are optimal for the success of your company and its brand.

Webflow template switching

You can switch between different website templates using a lot of the popular website builders out there. Webflow, on the other hand, is NOT like this at all. When you choose a Webflow template, you are obligated to use it moving forward.

Because of this, before settling on a particular template from Webflow’s library, you will need to take your time, carefully assess the layout and functionality of the available options, and make a decision.

Webflow gives you the ability to preview a live version of each template, which should make the process of evaluating them much simpler. Additionally, you can open templates in your Webflow designer to get a sense of what it will be like to edit those templates.

If you are testing out a paid template in your designer, any changes you make will not be saved unless you actually purchase the template.

Let’s see what it’s like to use the Webflow site designer and content management system now that we’ve gotten that out of the way.

CMS and interface

You will need to familiarize yourself with the ‘designer’ interface of Webflow, regardless of whether you are going to use a template or start from scratch when creating your website.

In addition to being the location where you will design and edit your website, this is also the area in which the majority of the ‘back end’ controls for your website will be found.

Now, unlike many other popular website builders such as Shopify, Wix, BigCommerce, and Squarespace, it is not really a case of setting up an account on Webflow and jumping straight into the process of designing your website. Instead, there are a few steps that must be completed before you can begin the design process.

This is due to the fact that the interface of Webflow is not a drag-and-drop builder. Additionally, if you do not have a solid understanding of the ‘box model’ of web design, you will find that the learning curve for Webflow is relatively steep.

You’ll be up and running in a relatively short amount of time if you have some familiarity with the fundamental principles of ‘cascading style sheets’ (CSS) and HTML code. To get up to speed with designing in Webflow, however, you will need to devote some time to watching the video tutorials and reading the articles that are included in the “Webflow University.” This is especially true if you are unfamiliar with the aforementioned concepts.

I can confidently say that Webflow is not the best choice for you if you are looking for a site builder that allows you to build a website or store with a minimum of effort and fuss because it is not going to give you a user experience that is tailored towards a novice. Therefore, if you are looking for a site builder that allows you to build a website or store, you should look elsewhere.

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The drag-and-drop method used by many other website builders is far removed from Webflow’s interface, which gives you a great deal of design flexibility.

Nevertheless, if you want to make a highly customized website and gain access to some very powerful and one-of-a-kind design functionality, it is well worth your time to persevere. The Webflow learning curve can be overcome, and doing so is a very rewarding experience once it has been accomplished.

Then, how exactly does the Webflow interface go about its business?

The Webflow Designer

As was just mentioned, Webflow bases its entire approach to web design on the concept of “responsive” design, which refers to a design system that ensures layouts are displayed correctly in proportion to the screen size of any device that they are viewed on.

Google may provide preferential treatment to responsive websites in the search results; consequently, it is very important to make sure that your website is fully responsive.

The Webflow designer, which has visual cues that are reminiscent of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, is organized around a central canvas that serves as the platform for the creation of responsive websites.

You have the ability to control how your design will appear on a variety of devices and screen sizes by adjusting the ‘breakpoint’ settings, which are located at the very top of the canvas. You are able to design for the following with the default options:

  • 991 to 1280 pixels wide for desktop.
  • 768px to 991px wide for tablets.
  • 480px to 767px wide for mobile portrait.
  • 479 pixels wide or less for mobile portrait.

To precisely control how your design and layout will appear on much larger screens, you can also add three more breakpoints.

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Webflow’s “Breakpoint” settings.

It is important to point out that website builders such as Shopify, Squarespace, and GoDaddy do not really provide this level of control over how your design will appear on the screens of your users. This is something that should be mentioned here.

However, the Wix Editor X interface operates in a manner that is very similar.

When you use Webflow to design your website, HTML elements such as sections, buttons, forms, text, and media are added to your canvas on the left side of the designer. Once these elements have been added, they can be styled using a very extensive set of controls located on the right side of the designer.

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Using the Webflow designer’s style controls.

Again, it is essential to stress the importance of having a fundamental understanding of HTML and CSS in order to design adequately in Webflow. This is because your project will become very messy and difficult to maintain control over if you do not assign classes effectively to the elements of your design.

So, before you start using Webflow, make sure you learn about the best practices for creating and naming classes in your project.

Recent improvements made by Webflow to its designer include the addition of ‘backdrop filters’ and ‘blend modes’ for color blending.

By stacking elements on top of one another in this manner, you can generate blur effects, frosted glass effects, and overlap effects. This kind of thing will be very familiar to users of Photoshop. The other website builders don’t seem to have them.

If you’re just getting started with building websites, you might find the slightly technical nature of designing websites with Webflow to be quite intimidating at first. With that in mind, allow me to quickly share my own perspective on the learning curve presented by Webflow.

The learning curve of Webflow

When I started using Webflow for the first time, I had only ever worked with simple drag-and-drop builders and had no prior experience or knowledge of HTML, CSS, or Javascript. This was two years ago.

I was able to design web pages and bespoke animations with self-assurance within a week or two after following the introductory video courses in Webflow’s excellent (and quite entertaining) Webflow University.

Now, if you have no experience with visual design tools like Photoshop or Illustrator, and if you’ve never used any kind of site builder before, you will find Webflow’s learning curve to be rather steep. Webflow is a drag and drop website builder.

If, on the other hand, you already have some familiarity with adjusting to a variety of digital programs and “graphical user interfaces” (GUI), as well as a fundamental understanding of HTML and CSS, then the learning curve for Webflow will be mostly moderate, and it should quickly level off once you begin experimenting and, indeed, playing with the platform. If you do not have any prior experience with adapting to a variety of digital programs and GUIs, then Webflow’s learning curve will be more difficult.

Exploring the “Made in Webflow” Showcase is a great way to learn how to really create eye-catching effects with Webflow, and it is one of the best ways to do so. This database contains numerous examples of websites that have been created using Webflow. Many of these websites can be “cloned,” which means that you can make a copy of the website in your own Webflow account and then investigate how particular effects have been achieved. You can use this information to replicate their success in your own projects.

There is also a vibrant community of ‘Webflowers’ producing independent design advice and instructional content about Webflow on Youtube, as well as a very helpful community forum space where other users (and, occasionally, Webflow staff) respond to user problems that aren’t covered by Webflow’s standard help materials. Both of these resources can be found on the Webflow website.

Importing and exporting content and products

You are required to use CSV files whenever you want to import content or products into Webflow. However, in order to use it, you will need to be subscribed to either the ‘CMS’ or the ‘Business’ site plan if your CSV file contains more than 50 individual items.

The ‘CMS’ plan gives you permission to import 2,000 items, while the ‘Business’ plan gives you permission to import 10,000.

Webflow also allows you to import a wide variety of image formats, such as JPEGs, PNGs, GIFs, and SVGs (these can all be up to 4MB in size). You will only be able to import these pictures if they are hosted somewhere on the internet if you choose to use the CSV method. The URLs of live images can be included in your CSV file, but references to “local” locations on your computer cannot be.

Webflow also allows you to import a wide variety of other file types for use on your website, including the following:

  • PDF
  • DOC and DOCX
  • XLS and XLSX
  • PPT and PPTX
  • TXT
  • CSV
  • ODT
  • ODS
  • ODP

In addition, your Webflow project can make use of ‘Lottie’ files, which are JSON-based animations that can be used to create bespoke animations that are both smooth and scalable. These animations are supported by Webflow.

You should be aware, however, that the uploading of each of these types of files must be done manually; at this time, it is not possible to upload them in bulk using CSV.

When it comes to exporting content from Webflow, you have the option of doing so easily through the use of a CSV file (it is important to note that images and files will not be exported, but rather their URLs will be listed in your CSV files).

You also have the option to export your website’s source code (for hosting on your own server or backup purposes). However, in order to export code, you will need to subscribe to a paid “Workspace” plan.

Images and galleries

Webflow, in contrast to Squarespace, Shopify, and a great number of other website builders, does not offer any tools or functions for editing or enhancing the images you upload (filters, cropping tools etc.). You will need to import your pictures in the format that you want them to appear in.

After your images have been uploaded, it is very simple to use them as backgrounds to sections or to add them to your layouts; all that is required is to drag an image onto the appropriate page element or section.

There are only a few options available to you on Webflow when it comes to ready-made galleries for displaying your images. These options include a slider, a lightbox, and a few grid-based image galleries. These components, on the other hand, are completely modifiable and responsive, which means that they will present themselves in an ideal manner on any device.

When we talk about various devices, we should mention that it is possible to apply a setting known as HiDPI to images. This makes it so that they will appear beautifully on screens that have a high pixel density. When it comes to brand and design companies that place a premium on high-quality visuals, I believe that this is an outstanding feature that will be particularly appreciated by those businesses.

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HiDI settings for screens with high resolution.

Although Webflow does not have as many premade galleries as some other website builders, the majority of people who choose to use it do so because they want to create unique layouts for their designs, as opposed to the template-based layouts that are typically associated with more “traditional” website builders.

It is also possible, thanks to the capability of the Webflow designer to let you design customizable CSS grid layouts, to produce a wide variety of one-of-a-kind combinations of images that can give your designs an impressive level of wow factor.

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Users are able to create galleries on Webflow that go beyond the standard layouts of the majority of other website builders thanks to Webflow’s CSS grid controls.

Building a “mega-menu” in Webflow

In order to accommodate extensive service offerings or extensive product collections, certain websites and online stores require navigation menus that are especially large.

Webflow makes it very easy to create a navigation section at the top of your page (or anywhere else on the page, if you prefer), complete with a large number of dropdowns and even “dropdowns within dropdowns.”

In the world of web design, these exceptionally large navigation bars are referred to as “mega menus.”)

Mega menus are already included in a number of the Webflow templates and cloneable sites, but if you’d rather design your own, the Weblow platform makes it easy to create menus with images, multiple columns, and full-screen dropdown areas that respond to the mouse position of your visitors. If you’d rather design your own mega menu, Weblow will let you make it as large and as sophisticated as you like.

Because of this, Webflow has an advantage over many competing platforms, the majority of which restrict you to relatively simple navigation systems with only two levels.

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The navigation menu that comes with Webflow is a good illustration of the kind of multi-layered, interactive mega menus that can be made with the platform.

Animations with Webflow

Webflow’s ‘Webflow interactions’ feature is one of its most appealing selling points because it enables users to generate complex animations that can be applied to any and all aspects of their websites.

You can add intricate Javascript animations to your website using Webflow interactions, and you won’t even need to know how to write or understand Javascript to do it.

The right side of the Webflow designer is where you’ll find the controls for building these animations, and there are around 20 preset animation types (such as ‘fade’, ‘shrink,’ and ‘jiggle’) that you can use to get started.

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Preset animation types for use with Webflow interactions.

The real power of this Webflow feature, however, lies in the fact that you are able to set “triggers” that provide your users with a visual thrill when they interact with your website in a variety of different ways.

You could, for instance, program an animation to begin playing whenever a user moves their mouse over an image, and you could also animate the image itself. Alternatively, you could use that image to trigger the appearance of another image or text on the page. Using this feature in creative ways opens up a wide variety of doors for exploration and experimentation.

The following are some examples of types of triggers:

  • Page load.
  • Page scroll.
  • A tap of the mouse.
  • Mouse hover.
  • scroll into view.

Building these animations takes some getting used to, just like the Webflow interface as a whole. However, the Webflow showcase library contains a wealth of resources and projects that can be replicated, so you can learn from them (and copy them!).

This Webflow feature is one that is well worth the time investment in order to create a website that has a rich interactive feel. If you are interested in creating such a website, then read on.

Blogging

Is it possible to use Webflow as a platform for blogging?

To answer your question in a nutshell: yes, you are able to. The blogging features offered by Webflow are more than sufficient for the majority of its users.

If, on the other hand, you blog for a living and produce a significant number of articles, you will likely benefit more from using a platform that is specifically designed for blogging, such as WordPress.

The following are several advantages of blogging through Webflow:

  • The styling and design capabilities of Webflow allow you to give your blog posts an extremely professional appearance.
  • Webflow provides users with access to 47 different blog layouts (mostly paid-for, however).
  • You will be able to use categories and tags for your blog post collections if you use Webflow. This will allow you to provide a wide variety of options for your readers to choose from when filtering your content. There are many other website builders, but most of them only give you access to one or the other.
  • Webflow provides an RSS feed that enables you to automatically share the content of your blog with your subscribers and also enables other people to feature the content of your blog on their own websites.
  • You are able to edit your Webflow blog posts ‘on page,’ which is located in the front-end of your site, in contrast to some competing platforms.
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The following are drawbacks of using Webflow as a blogging platform:

  • When compared to those of many other platforms, Webflow’s page limits are quite restrictive. The ‘CMS’ plan costs $20 per month and allows 2,000 items, while the ‘Business’ plan costs $45 per month and allows 10,000 items. These limits could quickly become a problem for professional bloggers or publications that post multiple times per day. After a couple of years, Webflow could even become unusable for these types of users.
  • When you edit an article that has already been published on Webflow, you won’t be able to change the date that it was published (something that can cause problems when using RSS feeds or freshening up content for SEO purposes).
  • There is currently no integration for Yoast with Webflow. This SEO plug-in is used by a lot of bloggers in order to improve the performance of their content in search rankings.

Blogging in Webflow is pretty good, but there are several areas where it is a case of ‘could do much better,’ particularly for professional bloggers who produce a high volume of content. In general, blogging in Webflow is pretty good.

Accessible design

Webflow provides a number of useful tools for ensuring that the designs you create are fully accessible and that screen readers and other “assistive” technologies are able to read the content on your website.

First, the designer of Webflow examines the color contrast of your text and alerts you if the contrast ratio does not adhere to the best practices outlined in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

In addition to this, Webflow features a mode called “vision preview,” which provides a simulation of how users who are visually impaired may see your website.

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Webflow has settings called “Vision preview” that enable designers to simulate a variety of situations that website visitors with a variety of vision impairments might experience.

Last but not least, the ‘audit’ panel of Webflow prompts users to fill in the ‘alt text’ fields for images. Screen readers use the information contained in the alternative text to provide visitors with visual impairments with an explanation of the content of images.

As a result of all of these features, Webflow is an excellent platform for developing websites that are accessible to everyone.

Version history features and backups

After you have selected your site’s template and begun personalizing it, Webflow will begin to automatically back up your site every few minutes; in addition, all Webflow site plans include an unlimited number of backups.

In addition, Webflow comes equipped with a robust version history feature that enables you to revert to older versions of your website with just the click of a button.

The version history feature that is included in Webflow gives it a significant advantage over its primary competitor, Squarespace, which is also known as a site builder that is particularly effective for the creation of eye-catching visuals.

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With Webflow’s backup feature, restoring earlier iterations of your website is simple.

Due to the absence of a version history function in Squarespace, there is no way to revert to an earlier version of your website in the event that you mess up the layout of a page.

As a result, I have nothing but praise for Webflow.

Features of e-commerce

Up to this point, the majority of our attention has been focused on analyzing how well Webflow presents content. However, it also includes e-commerce functionality.

Let’s take a look at these now.

Webflow’s main ecommerce features

Webflow, in contrast to more well-known ecommerce website builders such as Shopify, BigCommerce, or BigCartel, has only been offering ecommerce functionality since 2018.

In spite of this, each of Webflow’s three ecommerce site plans offers a feature-set that is sufficiently extensive to facilitate the creation of an online store. You are able to do the following with Webflow:

  • You can accept payments via credit card through Stripe and PayPal.
  • Offer both digital and physical products for sale.
  • Define manually the rules for the various shipping rates and regions.
  • Fully personalize the way your shopping cart page looks from top to bottom.
  • Automatically calculate sales tax for businesses located in the United States, Canada, the European Union, and Australia.
  • Use the design of your brand across all of your customer touchpoints, including emails and receipts.

Webflow is currently testing a feature called “membership,” which will allow site visitors to subscribe to content that is behind a paywall. Additional features are on the way.

However, it is fair to say that Webflow does not yet offer many of the professional ecommerce features that are currently provided by more established store builders. These features include things like shopping carts, payment gateways, and analytics.

In the realm of online retailing, Webflow is lacking in a number of important respects, as shown in the following examples:

  • Stripe and Paypal are the only two payment gateways that are available to you when it comes to processing credit cards. When compared to the extensive selection of payment gateways offered by dedicated e-commerce platforms such as Shopify and BigCommerce, this limited selection is woefully inadequate.
  • You will not be able to use Webflow as a point of sale (POS) solution if you require the ability to accept payments in physical locations (such as retail outlets, pop-up stores, and the like). Webflow does not offer an integrated point-of-sale (POS) kit with accessories like card readers or receipt printers, and it does not give you a way to synchronize the data from your online and offline sales transactions.
  • Webflow does not come equipped with a built-in tool for recovering abandoned shopping carts. Abandoned cart savers are very effective at increasing conversion rates because they send out email notifications to site visitors who have not yet completed their purchases after they have stopped working on their carts. You are required to use the Monto integration in order to add one to Webflow, which can add anywhere from $10 to $20 per month to the operational costs of your online store.
  • Webflow does not come equipped with any multilingual or multi-currency features that could assist you in expanding your business internationally. If you want this functionality, you will need to pay for integrations from businesses such as Monto or Weglot, which are the ones that provide it.
  • The dropshipping options are somewhat restricted; however, an integration is available for the print-on-demand company Printful. That is the only drop shipping option available.
  • Webflow is not like most other online store builders in that it does not allow you to host digital products. If you want to sell digital products, you will first need to upload them to a cloud storage service like Dropbox, Google Drive, or another similar service.
  • Despite the fact that Webflow offers automatic tax calculation features, the platform does not provide adequate support for the VAT MOSS regulations that are imposed by the EU on the sale of digital products.

Ecommerce restrictions to be aware of

When compared to other e-commerce platforms, Webflow’s application of product limits and annual sales limits stands out as particularly noteworthy.

The ‘Standard,’ ‘Plus,’ and ‘Advanced’ ecommerce plans of Webflow each allow you to sell 500 products, 1,000 products, and 3,000 products, respectively, but the ‘Basic’ plan is limited to only 200 products.

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Watch out for the “item” restrictions on Webflow’s ecommerce plans.

In addition, the ‘Standard’ plan restricts your annual sales to a maximum of $50,000, while the ‘Plus’ plan caps your earnings at $200,000. The ‘Advanced’ plan, which costs the most at $235 per month, is the only one that allows for the possibility of unlimited annual sales.

Even though their pricing plans are, on average, quite a bit less expensive, key competing platforms such as Squarespace, Shopify, and Wix do not apply these kinds of limits to the number of products that can be sold on their platforms.

Transaction charges

If you are on the Webflow ‘Standard’ plan, you will be subject to a transaction fee of 2% on every sale. However, if you are on one of the two most expensive Webflow ecommerce plans, you will not be charged a transaction fee.

Wix, BigCommerce, and Shopify are three prominent examples of dedicated e-commerce platforms that make it possible to completely sidestep the payment of transaction fees.

And, when you consider that those ecommerce platforms tend to come with lower monthly fees — for example, Shopify’s ‘Basic’ plan is $13 cheaper than the cheapest one Webflow offers — and are more feature-packed, it’s difficult not to be a little annoyed by this. Shopify’s ‘Basic’ plan is $13 cheaper than the cheapest one Webflow offers.

Now, as was previously stated, Because Webflow has only been offering ecommerce functionality for a few years, you can anticipate that its ecommerce feature set will continue to grow and become more advanced over time. However, there are unquestionably more advantageous e-commerce choices available at this time.

Including other apps in the mix

Webflow integrations database

There are over 250 different integrations available in the Webflow integrations library, which is one of the many ways in which Webflow can improve the functionality of your website.

These allow you to connect your website to various email marketing services such as GetResponse and Mailchimp, as well as various form builders, the most popular social media platforms, and customer engagement tools.

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Integrations with Webflow

In addition, websites built with Webflow can take advantage of a variety of bespoke plugins (made by Webflow developers and enthusiasts). These include advanced collection item filtering, chat boxes, image sliders, and a variety of other features that are unique to the application.

Webflow-Zapier integration

In the event that the primary selection of integrations does not meet all of your requirements, you will be pleased to learn that Webflow is compatible with the synchronization tool Zapier.

“Zaps” are “If This, Then That” rules that allow data to be passed between applications and carry out actions based on your specifications. Zapier gives you the ability to extend the functionality of your website by connecting it to thousands of tools provided by third parties.

By utilizing Zapier, you will have the ability to create individualized integrations for a wide variety of well-known cloud services, including the following:

  • Google sheets
  • Gmail
  • Slack
  • Airtable
  • Intercom

There is a free plan available for Zapier, but in order to get the most out of it with a Webflow site, the majority of users will need to upgrade to the $29.99 per month plan.

Forms and data collection

Webflow offers a comprehensive collection of data capture forms as well as features for uploading files. Let’s take each of these in turn and look at it.

Building forms

Both the contact form layouts and the newsletter signup box layouts that are available as prebuilt layouts can be fully customized in any way you see fit.

You also have the option of using Webflow, which provides you with a great deal of flexibility, to build your own forms from the ground up. You have the ability to include any component in your forms that you would like, such as custom fields, fields with a “autofocus” option, radio buttons, anti-spam recaptcha elements, and so on. Additionally, editing the success and error messages for your forms is a simple process.

Significantly, it is very possible to reuse forms that you have built across your website. All you need to do is save your form as a reusable component in Webflow, and then you can drop it into any page that you want.

Other website builders, particularly Squarespace and Shopify, aren’t very good when it comes to letting you create re-usable forms, so this is one area in which Webflow shines brighter than its competitors.

The fact that data from Webflow forms can only be sent to an email address by default is a less than ideal feature. If you need the data from your form to go somewhere else (like a Google Sheet, for example), you will need to use Zapier to facilitate this transfer of data.

Last but not least, it is important to note that Webflow places restrictions on the number of form submissions you are permitted to have on your plan on a monthly basis. These restrictions range from 50 on the ‘Starter’ plan to 2,500 on the ‘Ecommerce Advanced’ plan. If you submit more than the allotted number of forms, you will be charged an additional fee of $1 for each additional 100 forms.

This is a poor comparison to other leading website building tools; I can’t think of any others that we’ve tested that limit or charge for form submissions in the same manner as this one does. This is a significant disadvantage.

Using Webflow forms and conditional logic

Webflow has just recently released a brand new feature known as ‘Logic,’ which allows users to add automations to their Webflow sites.

Users are given the ability to define specific actions that should take place depending on the information that a customer supplies through the submission of a form using IFTT rules, which are based on the phrase “if this then that.”

For instance, you can choose who in your organization will receive an email submission based on the inputs that a customer provides in a form, or you can route submissions from customers into particular sections of the Webflow CMS database based on the data that is entered. Both of these options are available to you.

No matter what kind of company you run, the powerful Webflow Logic feature can open up a wide variety of doors regarding the creation of custom workflows, e-commerce forms, and more.

Using forms to upload files

The owners of some online stores require their customers to send them files in order to fulfill an order or finish a project. For instance, a jeweler might need text for an inscription, a clothing company might need a photo to create a personalized t-shirt, or a realtor might need specifics about a property in order to accurately value it.

The good news is that Webflow’s “Business,” “Ecommerce Plus,” and “Ecommerce Advanced” plans all include functionality that is built-in specifically to facilitate this, so there is no need to look elsewhere. Because this file upload feature does not come standard with all of Webflow’s competitors’ website builders, Webflow earns high marks for including it.

GDPR and Webflow

Please be aware that I am not an attorney, and the observations that follow should not be interpreted as legal advice. Rather, they represent my own personal perspective on some of the most important GDPR issues that Webflow users need to be aware of. Whenever you have questions about the GDPR-related legal obligations you have as the owner of a website, it is in your best interest to speak with an attorney.

The implementation of the laws governing GDPR in the EU brought with it a slew of new legal requirements for adequately protecting the privacy of online visitors and customers in the EU.

GDPR rules require you to:

  • Ensure that the information of your site’s visitors is protected at all times.
  • Provide access to relevant privacy documents.
  • You should stop any cookies that aren’t necessary from running on your website if the user hasn’t given their consent.

Webflow has solid security, and it shouldn’t be difficult at all to create links to conventional legal documents like terms and conditions documents and privacy policies.

However, obtaining consent to use cookies can be more difficult.

Website proprietors are required by GDPR to adhere to the following 5 key rules regarding cookie consent:

  • Tell visitors that cookies are being used on the site.
  • Please explain how those cookies are used and why they are used.
  • Make it possible for visitors to your website to indicate their approval of the use of “non-essential” cookies BEFORE those cookies are activated (non-essential cookies include things like Google Analytics cookies and Facebook pixels).
  • Track and document cookie usage.
  • Make it possible for users to change their minds about accepting cookies after they have already consented to the use of these files.

Regrettably, Webflow does not offer a pre-packaged cookie banner that you can use to satisfy these requirements. There are a number of competing platforms, such as Wix and BigCommerce, that include cookie banners as one of their fundamental features; consequently, Webflow has a lot of room for improvement in this regard.

On the other hand, the good news is that Webflow users have access to a number of third-party cookie apps and plugins that can be used to make their websites GDPR compliant from the perspective of cookie consent (a key example being the Finsweet cookie plugin, which can actually be used for free).

On the other hand, there is another problem with GDPR that could make Webflow a poor choice for your company if you are located in Europe or do business with customers who are located in Europe. This problem is related to “data processing” and the storage of form data that is collected through websites powered by Webflow.

When a user fills out a form on your website and submits their personal information, that information is stored on servers that are located outside of the EU and belonging to Webflow. This constitutes a violation of the GDPR data processing regulations and has resulted in the blocking of some websites hosted by Webflow in countries that are members of the EU. The EU mandates that the data of its citizens be stored within the EU.

However, Webflow is aware of this, and they have stated that they are contemplating adding “additional technical and organizational safeguards.” But in the meantime, if you’re considering using Webflow as a website builder and host for your European business, it’s probably best to run some tests first, and it’s also best to seek legal advice from a lawyer before doing so. In the event that you have any questions regarding this topic, feel free to contact us at any time.

Is Webflow effective for SEO?

The search engine optimization features offered by Webflow are, on the whole, excellent; the platform enables you to easily carry out a large number of important SEO tasks, including the following:

  • Modifying the titles, URLs, and meta descriptions of individual pages.
  • Adding alternative text to image files.
  • Putting in place 301 redirects.
  • Editing schema markup.
  • Modifying the robots.txt file on your computer.
  • Developing pages that are fully responsive.

When it comes to sitemaps (for the purpose of submitting your website to Google), you have the option of using an XML sitemap that is automatically generated or creating your very own.

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From the designer, Webflow gives good access to SEO settings.

Websites that are able to load their content more quickly may be given higher priority in search engine results.

We found that Webflow sites generally load quickly — we saw lots of scores of 90 or higher when running templates through Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. This was the result of our testing of a variety of different templates.

However, if you’re designing a site that uses a lot of animations (or starting out with a template that does), you can expect slower loading times.

Webflow creates multiple versions of any image you upload, in a variety of sizes, and displays the most relevant one for the screen resolution your site is being viewed on. Incorrectly sized images are often another block to a fast-loading page. To help you get around this, Webflow creates multiple versions of any image you upload.

The ‘load’ setting for images in Webflow is a useful tool that ensures that even the most image-heavy pages load in a reasonable amount of time. This provides you with a selection of three different loading options for your images, which are as follows:

  • Lazy: loads on scroll.
  • Eager: loads instantly.
  • Auto: defaults to browser settings.

Images that appear above the fold should have the “Eager” setting applied to them, while images that appear below the fold should have the “Lazy” setting applied to them in Webflow. This will help to ensure that pages load quickly.

Do AMP pages work with Webflow?

Accelerated Mobile Pages (also known as AMP pages) is a project that is backed by Google that aims to speed up the delivery of content to mobile devices by utilizing a streamlined form of code that is known as AMP HTML.

Unfortunately, Webflow does not support AMP in any capacity, despite the fact that many other website builders (including Squarespace, BigCommerce, Wix, and Shopify, to name a few) already do.

Is there anything you can tell me about Webflow and Core Web Vitals?

Google’s Core Web Vitals are a set of targets relating to the speed, responsiveness, and visual stability of a website. Websites that meet these targets have a better chance of receiving preferential treatment in Google’s search results.

In preparation for this review, I used Google’s Page Speed Insights tool to evaluate several different templates offered by Webflow. The majority of them, particularly the more straightforward models, did quite admirably overall.

When I started editing these templates and adding my own images and animations to them, the results were less impressive; however, this did not stop me from continuing.

However, by carefully adjusting the image sizes, image load settings, and custom animations, it was possible to improve some of the results. Specifically, this was the case.

When it comes down to it, it is entirely possible for you to develop a website with Webflow that satisfies the requirements set forth by Core Web Vitals; however, you will need to exercise caution in regards to the use of images and animations while doing so, and it will be of assistance to you if you have a little bit of a technical background and an awareness of the procedures that are involved in Core Web Vitals testing.

Customer service

Email is the only customer support channel that is offered by Webflow unless you upgrade to one of their “Enterprise” plans.

Support is available Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific Time, and Webflow will do its best to respond to any questions you may have within 24 to 48 hours (which is quite a long turnaround time, really). According to my experience with Webflow’s support, the members of the company’s customer service team typically meet that target.

On the other hand, the fact that Webflow’s regular plans do not include phone or live chat support is disappointing given that the majority of Webflow’s primary competitors do offer these features.

The fact that support is only offered in English is one of the most significant shortcomings of Webflow; in comparison, other website builders offer more language options. Shopify provides support in over twenty languages, in addition to BigCommerce 7 and Squarespace 6.

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Webflow client assistance

The Webflow help articles and the instructional videos that can be found on the Webflow University website are, in my opinion, really excellent resources that can provide you with general assistance when getting to grips with Webflow and tackling issues that you face along the way.

In addition, the Webflow forum is a very active space in which technically-skilled Webflow users frequently demonstrate that they are the best (and fastest) resource for solving problems that you encounter when making use of the platform.

Review of Webflow: the verdict

Webflow is an all-around excellent website builder that offers a wide variety of features and makes it possible for individuals and small businesses to create websites that have a distinctive appearance and a great deal of functionality. Even though the platform has a more difficult learning curve than a number of its competitors, it is still possible for a beginner to master the platform in a relatively short amount of time thanks to the excellent educational and support materials that are provided by Webflow.

When it comes to creative visuals and interactive design features, the platform excels in a particularly noteworthy manner. Because of the high level of customization that can be accomplished through the use of the Webflow designer, it is an attractive option for individuals and brands that are looking to differentiate themselves through the use of unique layouts and eye-catching animations. Webflow’s design capabilities make it possible for users to build fully responsive websites that do not have a “cookie cutter” template look, regardless of whether they are developing a portfolio, a blog, or an online store.

On the down side, Webflow’s ecommerce features are not as developed as those of dedicated online store builders, and more significantly, there are restrictions on the number of products you can sell on your store and the amount of money you can make from your annual sales. Because of this, the platform is not a good option for retailers who have high sales volumes and very large product catalogs to begin with.

Because Webflow stores data outside of the EU, you run the risk of violating GDPR regulations if you store user data on their servers and collect it. This is another significant drawback that deserves your attention and should be brought to your attention.

Webflow, much like many other hosted website builders, provides a free version of its platform so that users can test it out before committing to one of the paid plans that are available. I would strongly recommend setting up an account and exploring its feature set for yourself if you are interested in experimenting with its relatively novel interface and approach to ‘no-code’ web design. If this describes your interests, read on.

Consequently, it is my sincere hope that you have gained a significantly deeper comprehension of Webflow as a result of reading this review. You will find a comprehensive list of the primary advantages and disadvantages of using Webflow below.

Webflow’s Pros

  • You can create designs that are one of a kind, highly customized, and impactful by using Webflow, which provides a wide variety of options for customization.
  • There are more than a thousand different templates available, and they range in quality from free to premium.
  • All Webflow sites are fully responsive and present themselves attractively across a wide variety of device types.
  • Webflow comes pre-loaded with an extensive library of different typefaces for users to choose from.
  • The ‘Logic’ tools that Webflow provides enable you to optimize the workflow of your organization as well as the email submissions that come into it.
  • The ‘interactions’ Javascript tool that is included with Webflow is not only simple to operate, but it also gives you the ability to create website animations that are extremely impressive in terms of page load, scroll-based, and mouse-over effects.
  • The platform comes equipped with useful autosave, backup, and version history features out of the box.
  • Through the ‘Webflow University’ resource that the platform provides, there is a wealth of learning materials available that are of a very high quality.
  • Capturing custom data and images for product customization purposes is straightforward.
  • Webflow includes a feature that will automatically calculate sales tax for you in the United States, Canada, the European Union, and Australia.
  • In Webflow, constructing, styling, and reusing forms is a simple process.
  • It provides you with a vast array of search engine optimization choices.

Webflow’s Cons

  • The way the prices are structured is very difficult to understand.
  • The learning curve is relatively steep in comparison to that of other website building tools; despite claims to the contrary, it is best suited to a target market of web developers rather than web design novices.
  • There are traffic caps placed on each of its plans, and the maximum number of users that can be hosted on a Webflow website before the owner is required to negotiate a custom package is capped at 250,000.
  • In spite of the fact that it emphasizes “no code,” having at least a basic understanding of CSS and HTML is necessary in order to get the most out of the Webflow designer. It is not necessary to have any prior knowledge of coding in order to use the majority of the available website builders.
  • It does not allow you to switch between different templates.
  • There is currently no mobile app available for Webflow, so you cannot edit your site while you are on the go.
  • When compared to many other platforms, the selection of ready-made image galleries that can be accessed through this one is extremely restricted.
  • If you are a high-output blogger or need to create a lot of dynamic content, you may find that the limits that Webflow places on the number of ‘CMS items’ prove to be problematic. Webflow places these limits on the number of ‘CMS items’
  • There is currently no SEO plugin for Webflow that is comparable to Yoast.
  • If European Union users store user data on Webflow, they might run into problems related to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
  • There is no functionality for point-of-sale systems, dropshipping apps are in short supply, and only two payment gateways can be used. There is no abandoned cart saving tool, no multi-currency features, no functionality for point-of-sale systems, and no functionality for point-of-sale systems.
  • There is not a cookie consent mechanism that is built in.
  • There are only a select few integrations that can be used with Webflow, and the company’s integrations library is not designed to function as a traditional app store. The majority of the integrations that are made available are generic third-party tools rather than integrations and plugins that are unique to Webflow.
  • Except for the ‘Enterprise’ plan, all other plans only offer customer support via email.

Various options besides Webflow

The features that allow users to design really high-quality and attractive responsive websites for individuals and brands of varying sizes are Webflow’s most compelling selling point.

Squarespace is another platform that gives you this ability. Its templates are just as fashionable as those of other platforms, but it is a significantly simpler platform to use to get your website up and running in a short amount of time. This is especially true for web design beginners. Read our review of Squarespace to get a comprehensive look at the platform’s advantages and disadvantages.

Shopify and BigCommerce are two of the most popular choices available when it comes to dedicated ecommerce builders. While these platforms don’t quite provide you with the sophisticated design tools that are present in Webflow, their ecommerce features are a lot stronger than Webflow’s.

Jimdo, GoDaddy, and Big Cartel are examples of website builders that are particularly intuitive to operate and are an excellent choice for novice users.

Big Cartel provides a totally free plan that enables you to sell up to 5 products without charging you anything.

Godaddy is in the process of becoming an “all in one” website builder, ecommerce, and marketing platform; however, it is still extremely simple to use. Despite this, Godaddy is expanding its capabilities.

If you want to sell products but don’t want to build your own website, you have another option: you can use an already established online marketplace as your ecommerce solution. Some examples of such marketplaces include Amazon, Etsy, and eBay.

Working with a website building solution such as Webflow is very different from utilizing the services provided by these marketplaces. These marketplaces do not permit you to sell your products on your own website; rather, they permit you to upload your products to their storefronts, where you will, at the very least in theory, have access to millions of potential customers all in one location.

And finally, Wix is a dependable platform that provides users with over 800 pre-designed themes, an abundance of integrated marketing tools, and powerful e-commerce capabilities.

FAQ

Is Webflow free to use?

You can sign up for a free ‘Starter’ Webflow account, and doing so provides you with an excellent opportunity to test out the functionality of the platform. On the other hand, if you go with this plan, you won’t be able to map your website to a custom domain name, and you also won’t have access to any e-commerce features.

Is Webflow suitable for novices?

If you are completely new to the world of web design, you will find that many of Webflow’s competitors offer website building tools that are significantly simpler to use. However, the excellent educational and assistance resources that are provided by Webflow can assist you in becoming familiar with the platform in a relatively short amount of time.

What are the benefits of utilizing Webflow?

The ability to use Webflow to create stunning animation effects and the control it grants you over all aspects of your website’s design are two of the most significant benefits of employing the use of Webflow.

What drawbacks are there to using Webflow?

Webflow’s primary drawbacks include annual sales limits and product limits for ecommerce, the inability to switch templates, a lack of features that support multiple currencies, and customer support that is only available via email and is relatively slow.

Are there any Webflow discounts available?

Yes, several. If you pay for one year in advance of using Webflow’s ‘Site’ or ‘Ecommerce’ plans, you are eligible for discounts ranging from 20% to 30%. When paying for the service on an annual basis, web designers and agencies are eligible for a discount of 32% on the ‘Workspace’ plans offered by the company.

Techexplains Team

Techexplains Team

We are a team of digital marketing experts with years of experience in website builders. CRM tools, project management software helping businesses of all sizes achieve their marketing goals. We are writing about benefits of using SaaS for businesses, and sharing our top picks for the best tools currently available on the market. Whether you are a small business owner looking to streamline your marketing efforts or a larger enterprise seeking to improve your marketing efficiency, we hope that you will find this useful and informative.