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Going with the flow: A Webflow Review from a Front End Developer


Chris Satchell Front-End Developer

Is webflow just another page builder tool that falls short on both the design and development side? Read our webflow review to see where we stand.

Swimming Upstream

Arguably, the “Holy Grail” of Web Design is the ability to design a website where the coding is done for you automagically – in the background, out of sight and out of mind. Many online and app-based tools try to do this. Based on my own experience and reviews, they all fall short of bridging the gap between design and code. The common vernacular for these design and build tools are “Page Builders” or “What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) Editors”. Currently, there are a variety of free and subscription-based options available.

Many of the fine proprietors of these pieces of software know how to market and sell their products very well. The eye-catching branding, action-packed introductory/onboarding videos and the “get the creative juices pumping“ background beats can be very persuasive. However, at the end of the day, they all are garbage.

Follow The Light

To be completely candid, I have not tested all of the various “I design while you code” tools on the market. Also, I have little to no interest in creating yet another Pro’s and Con’s list… Reading lists and product comparisons can provide some insight but nothing makes up for good old fashioned experience gained through using a tool in a real production environment. Oh yes, the experience of using a new design tool for the first time can be excruciating and borderline masochistic. There is light at the end of the tunnel… maybe just dim light but light none the less. The light is called Webflow!

After prototyping and building a couple landing pages with Webflow, I am excited to say that this tool does a darn decent job of bridging the gap between web design and development. Webflow is not without its own flaws and it will not completely compensate for designers or developers lack of coding knowledge, skill, and judgment.

Flow Forward

As a developer who writes code, I think my greatest hurdle with the online tool was trusting it was writing the correct code for me. Too often is the case where a website looks fine inside the tool you are using until you preview it in an actual web browser. In the case of Webflow, the “lost in translation” dilemma, where your beautiful site falls apart, is very rare or dare I say non-existent with Webflow.

The UI is relatively simple and the controls are very straightforward if you understand the fundamentals of HTML and CSS. The exception being the Interactions panel, which tries to tackle the unruly beast of JavsScript DOM manipulation, in a way that can be a bit sloppy. If you do not understand how web code works at a basic level, you can still use Webflow with a bit of trial and error and elbow grease. Webflow provides a series of free tutorials videos which are very concise and didactic. So, designers, developers and digital markets alike can all benefit from and use Webflow.

Follow Your… Heart?

Webflow might not cut the mustard for every web-based project. Even the tools I pooh-pooh earlier may better suit your project’s needs. If you do decide to go with the flow, like I did, then I think you will be pleasantly surprised by Webflow.


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