How to Publish a CMS Website with a Custom Domain on a Free Plan


Just a quick question on pricing.

If I were to buy a monthly plan, build a website to completion, purchase Webflow hosting for this site and get it live with a custom domain, could I then, if I wanted to, cancel my monthly Webflow subscription with the completed site remaining live and unaffected?

And then at a later date when I want to renew my Webflow subscription, would the site that I had built remain available in my account for any further editing etc?


i was asking me the same… i guess this feature must have a cms account, which can be payed and keeped from the client itself… our account must be indepently from a cms account. but this is not clear explained how this is going to be organized.

You can use free Webflow account and buy the basic hosting plan for that site only.

Here I show this from a new free Webflow account.

Then chose Basic…

… Or CMS plan:

So hosting not being linked to your plan, I guess the second questions’ answer is yes too.

Hope this helps and clarifies :smile:


thank you for the explanation.

but with the free account you can only publish a website with max. 2 sites. so normally (if you don’t have a one-page-site) you will need to take the personal acount.

that makes:
$20 for the cms
$16 for the personal account
$5 for the client email management (webflow only hosts)

total: $41/Month, or $492/year.

now, i guess my case is similar to many others around here. i’m a designer who makes webdesign, with limited knowledge about how to code a website and no chance to make a dynamic one myself.

i use webflow for simple, static websites, which i export and upload in a neutral server.
for me it is easier to upload the website, configure the e-mail accounts and give all informations to my client.
this “easy” websites are on range of $1500-2500.

when a client needs a cms website, i engage a coder, which costs $2500-4000 form small and middle sites (coders don’t make so much difference here), and 5000 and more for complex sites.

so, with me, a small or middle cms website should cost between $4000-6500.

the same site, asked directly to a coder, costs $3500-4000.

looking at this numbers you will see, for designers, cms sites are very attractive starting at 6500 and more… also, middle and big websites.

big sites where never the problem for us. the problem is actually, that we cannot make an easy cms website cheaper than $4000.

now, we could try with webflow cms, but the fact is, if i can do a cms website for $3500-4000. (for design and cms) but then i must charge $490/year for the cms… that’s not really an improvement. in fact, this site online for 3 years would be more expensive than making it the old way… i cannot imagine a client paying this fees because i cannot code and i want to do cms myself because the coder need so much money.

i know, we all want to win money, but at this time i don’t see the advantage with the webflow model…

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I feel you, I understand everything you say, I did the same exact maths, and I too don’t consider this cheap.

Although, it’s making my life easier. So far, Webflow has done for me something incredible: keeping me far from the code and technical hassles to allow me to concentrate on design. Yet, I was still exporting and FTP-uploading on one of my server. I was also dealing with my servers, speding time and money with my sysadmin, especially on domains settings, backups etc. Because when I do that I’m the only one responsible for domains to work, site to work, backups being done.

Now, Webflow forces me to use their CDN for CMS. It’s maybe pricier than I expected but I got it. I’m not going to deal with my admin anymore, or backups, or difficult domains settings. And how much I am fine with that!

So you may add to the equation things you won’t ever spend time doing:

  • looking for hosting
  • managing hosting, technically, financially
  • looking and managing sysadmin
  • sysadmin tasks

Also add the the equation that maintenance is also easier… design, click to publish, that’s all it takes.

In the end, if you already have all the extra skills, and willing to deal with them, if you’re an agency etc, the CMS and hosting price may not be good for your business. For me, as an almost lone wolf, It’s giving me the opportunity to spend my time on design, to talk with my clients about design, to increase my skills on… design! I think Webflow has been created for this. And I cherish this, I embrace it.


i guess i got yr point of view.
in my case, i took a reseller hosting and all of yr point where already managed for $250/year with unlimited hosting (with place limits). but you are right, sysadmin stuff WITH CMS is another liga.

anyway, this don’t change the financial fact, that making a small site with webflow cms is more expensive, than if i do it the old way. and by the old way (with coder) i don’t need to manage sysadmin tasks… and my search for a cms like webflow is only because i would like to offer a cms service with a competitive price.

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@nuppieri @vincent

I had the same calculations but after discussing it with the webflow team I understand the following exact features exist at least currently. They’re not specified on the webflow website and I understand the team is still discussing all the options and features:

Features on Free plan with Basic or CMS hosting i.e. Just $20/m for CMS and free:

1 private Website
Forum Support
20 Public Websites
500 Form Entries per Month per Site
2 Backups per Site
20 Static Pages per Site
Custom Font Upload
Custom Domain

Hope that helps


Here’s the issue:

Small business clients are not going to pay these fees, no matter what argument you make.

Medium sized businesses can afford these fees, maybe, but there isn’t near enough features to support the cost.

Large businesses aren’t going to use Webflow in the first place. They’ll have a design team, a development team and likely use an in-house CMS built with Rails, Django/Flask or something fancy using JS. In turn, they’ll have requirements for their sites that go well beyond what Webflow could ever provide (front end frameworks, commerce, user interaction, etc.).

So really Webflow is targeted to the designer who never learned how to code and the clientele they are able to secure, that are 90% of the time, small businesses working on a budget. There is no way these small businesses are going to be able to justify spending this much money, just for very limited hosting when there are so many other options out there.

An argument could be made that Webflow designers are more at risk of losing clients to competitors because of the price increase and lack of features.

Clients want interactive websites, SEO, analytics, unlimited form entries, unlimited pages, unlimited page views, unlimited backups, security, updates, bespoke designs, their own domains, a CMS they can use without limits and the ability to scale their site as their business grows. They also have no desire to pay a penny more then they have to. That’s how successful businesses remain profitable, they don’t piss away their margins.


100% agree.

and the more i think about this thing with webflow and this month fees, the more i feel it isn’t the solution i was looking for. i saw webflow like adobe cc, rent the tool and work for money… BUT the difference with adobe is, that i pay for a tool which i can make 100% of my print work with.

with webflow i saw a tool which i could imagine to do all my webwork, but now renting a webflow cms license (with basic functions), stucking with the basic hosting without mail mangament, giving up the freedom to move the data whrerever my client means… i’m not geting warm.

and i cannot imagine that perch, or other small cms system are so huge, that they can afford just selling licenses/page, or they are just loosing money.

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