I have a question about website hosting. Firstly, if I use a third-party hosting service for the website that I create (e.g Site Ground) does that mean I don’t have to pay for a Webflow subscription other than to remove the watermark. This includes form submissions and other things included in a Webflow subscription.
If you host on another service then the you won’t have any of the hosted service features of webflow, including;
etc. Those are part of Webflow’s hosting.
Exporting your code requires a Workspace plan that allows code export.
Once you export, you’re done, you could shutdown that workspace plan entirely if you want…
But then you would no longer be able to edit the designer project and re-export it.
“Substitutes” is probably not a useful word here, because you can’t just plug them in, Webflow would be exporting the HTML design and artwork for your site, and then the rest of the programming to turn that into a system is all you.
Form posts is pretty straightforward, just Google “forms processor”, there are a lot of them, and depends on how you want your forms to work and what you want them to do.
The CMS is a much more complex part. Depends entirely on your needs, perhaps start exploring AirTable and headless CMS’s to begin understanding capabilities and options.
I use Basin. I like it because I have design control using the Webflow form components.
First form is free. I usually have the client set up the account with their email address. If they want additional forms, the price is reasonable. They offer some cool actions after a submission is captured.