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So has The Wishlist been abandoned?

Webflow, we love, we really do. Webflow has been life-changing and amazing for so many of us.

At the same time, I think many of us have been feeling a bit frustrated. In the past year and a half Webflow has raised over $200 million but most of what the community wants (Webflow Wishlist) have been unfulfilled for years. Also, the communication between Webflow and the community has not great. Vlad used to do quarterly Q&As but those have completely dropped off the map.

There are even features that were explicitly communicated as coming soon (like real-time shipping rates Webflow removed "Automatic real-time shipping rates". Why? - #15 by manolojaguar) that still haven’t arrived.

Thank you, Webflow team, for everything you do. I’m sure you’re working hard like all of us. We would just like better communication and feature releases.

Thank you,
John

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I’d recommend taking a quick peek at JZ’s post (below) who is the VP of Product where she addresses the concern with the Wishlist and some upcoming changes—including the addition of Community Business Reviews and a revised Beta Program:

In terms of the quarterly Q&A’s, I really enjoyed these as well but I’d imagine they were stopped because it contained a lot of the same questions over and over with the same answers from Vlad. I hope these Community Business Reviews fill the void while allowing them to be a bit more transparent on the roadmap—similar to “Town Halls” done by other companies—but all that remains to be seen.

It’s totally appropriate to be frustrated with certain releases not releasing quick enough, however I’d rather the work is done right as opposed to rushing out something that wasn’t thought through. Most of the highly requested features are huge undertakings, but it sounds like there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes.

Remember that just because there’s a budget doesn’t mean things immediately start moving at full speed towards their goals, they would need to hire and train new help along with adjusting priorities to accommodate new technologies and focuses internally. They have been making great progress over the last year or so (even if it’s not exactly what folks have been asking for) so let’s see how they handle things over the next few months to address some growing concerns.

Just for a bit of visual (thanks to @vincent and his awesome resource available on his site Manifest) here’s the last two years of updates which shows a huge uptick from prior years:

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By the way, refresh that! ;-p

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I’ll believe it when I see it. Last time we got a response like this was 8-9 months ago and then the thread was immediately locked and then nothing happened. And, look here, we need to communicate more yada yada BAM thread immediately locked. It’s been like this for 4 years now.

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I’m not sure what to tell you :man_shrugging: I don’t work for Webflow so I can’t peek behind the curtain to see what’s going on behind the scenes—I’m just simply pointing out a very recent update directly from someone working at the company.

Admittedly when I initially replied to @jhiggins I was completely unaware of the new Series B funding—I mistakenly assumed this was due to their previous funding—but I took some time to read through the TechCrunch article (linked below) and it mentions that in 2020 they doubled their customer base:

That’s twice as many voices they hear and expectations they need to manage along with a huge influx of support only made more difficult as the world deals with adjusting to the affects of a pandemic. Even the big companies that have been around longer with more available resources struggled last year—not only because of adjustments with how their employees work together but also due to the potential influx of users as folks scrambled to find new opportunities working from home themselves.

I think it’s perfectly acceptable to be cautiously optimistic, but I’d say that we all deserve a bit of a mulligan after the last 10 months. Even as someone who was able to work through everything my mental state suffered which caused delays in my client work and adjustments to my own personal business goals/timeline. My suggestion is to plan on being a part of the Community Business Reviews in April and see if they can deliver on some of the promises.

We’re all customers here and (hopefully) want the best for the company as it ultimately helps us in our own use of the platform. Call me an optimist but I’ve been around long enough to expect them to deliver—even if it comes a bit later than I hoped/expected :webflow_heart:

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Thank you everyone for your responses - I’m going to merge this topic with the previous topic and open it back up for discussion. Please make sure that we’re still having constructive conversations and being respectful to everyone

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This timeline is so sick. Great work as always. Love that you already have the upcoming features listed out and waiting for placement.

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OP chiming in to say that I appreciate the fact that you’ve reopened the thread for discussion. I’m sure there are many (like me) who would like to share reactions and ideas around Jaiona’s post.

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Hey Jioana welcome to the forums.

Curious if Webflow’s workflow destroying and project derailing performance issues are on the radar for 2021?

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So happy to hear substantial work is being done on a plugins framework. I trust the team and constantly advocate for Webflow amongst friends and clients but there’s almost always some small feature missing that pushes clients aways (at least in my experience).

For example, a lot of my new clients wanted the ability to have a pick up option for their online orders because or curbside pickup during the pandemic. I’m sure Webflow team has been aware of this trend in their own lives too. But instead we got contrast checker: something I can do in seconds on another tab using https://contrastchecker.com/. Don’t get me wrong, accessibility is important but why build in a tool that already exists instead of enabling a new way of doing business that cannot be enabled by an outside tool? I can’t imagine a no shipping option taking much development effort.

With a plugin system in place, these little quality of life additions like an integrated contrast checker, adding a “loading=lazy” attribute, and removing unused animations can be offloaded to the community, allowing the team to focus on depth instead of breadth.

Figma, Airtable, and now Monday have become exponentially more useful and powerful with their plugin systems and have become more than the vision of a few people. I implore you to consider their success a lesson and build a truly integrated plugin system that anyone can build on. The Figma SDK is especially interesting as it exposes everything to developers. The @Finsweet team would be a great resource for user research in this regard.

In addition to that, alternate hosting would also be great. I know that’s not the business model but I’d gladly pay 100+ dollars per month if I could deploy to Heroku or Netlify. My client base could triple if I could offer cheap elastic hosting to people who expect very little traffic but still need a modern website and an easy to use CMS.

I for one am looking forward to what’s to come!

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I’d like to mention the numerous other posts about Webflow’s significantly degraded performance on sites with just ~500 to ~1,000 CMS items (when Webflow sells plans with 2,000 and 10,000 capacities).

There’s no reason any software should be this buggy and sluggish (and I use Adobe Premiere CC!).

I’m afraid Webflow has significantly outgrown its likely-single-page architecture.

Developers have finite coding abilities. Because Webflow has delayed, delayed, and delayed to address their significant technical debt, Webflow now has no good options: you cannot add new features, because it’ll break down the weak back-end, but your developers do not have the time and/or expertise to fix these issues while being forced to address long-standing indications that you will support certain features.

I mean, who on Webflow’s team is responsible for QA and why have not decided against pulling a five-alarm fire on Webflow’s degrading back-end? :frowning:

Once you get behind, it is very hard to catch up, so I hope Webflow is willing to buckle down and admit what genuine failures exist and what can be done.

I sometimes feel like I’m backing a Kickstarter project.

Update #1: We made money! Thank you.
[silence for months]
Update #2: We’ve halfway finished the prototype. No, we’re still taking new backers, even years behind schedule.
Update #3: Hey, we’re not done yet, so we sent out free non-functional prototypes to random backers!
[silence for months]
Update #4: We made money! Thank you.
[silence for months]
Update #5: We’ll be leaving in a lot of bugs & issues, but don’t worry, we want to get this out ASAP.
Update #6: Hey, more backers and more money. Gosh, we are so inspired!

:sob: This email today was unfortunately timed. I sincerely hope Webflow is preparing unprecedented efforts to QA, bug-test, refactor, and solidify its current codebase.

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Thanks Jianoa for the detailed statement, many of us truly do appreciate this effort at transparency. I echo many others when I say that I really do hope this means that the Wishlist starts to be utilised better (a LOT better) by Webflow staff.

Fingers crossed the Series B funding unlocks a lot of these aspirations for you - I’m rooting for you!

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While I appreciate the attempt at addressing this subject, the answer we are given is, literally, just wait another 4 months and then we can start discussing it.

I realize I’m a constant source of pessimism in this thread. I’m glad many of you are still optimists in this regard. I hope I can eat my hat. Soon.

I sincerely hope there is some semblance of progress before the Community Business Reviews occur. I think those are fantastic idea and I hope Webflow follows through. In the meantime, there are some basic missing features listed on the wishlist that are downright embarrassing for some of who have clients.

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This timeline is amazing! Even better than what we have internally :wink:

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Another nail in the Wishlist coffin. Yesterday, Webflow announced it has no “immediate priority” for multi-language sites. That was the 2nd-highest Webflow Wishlist item,


As I noted, Webflow developers are unable to expand their quite-fragile backend. If it wasn’t so shamefully noted with a curt response, I’d be more sympathetic.

Even the CEO of Weglot chimed in, sharing the disappointment (or schadenfreude?). The Wishlist is a place to vent more or less, it seems. FWIW, Weglot is not ideal: $230/year for someone to slow down your site w/ external scripts, limit translated pages to 50k views/month, 50k words total (goodbye blogs), and a tedious amount of day-to-day effort as you update your site’s layout.

I can’t blame Webflow: the Webflow backend is seemingly in tatters after bolting on features and QA is likely dropping bombs every few weeks to product managers who really do not understand Webflow.

Alas. Good effort, Webflow: you have simply detached from the reality of your users. It’s been a disappointing timeline of events.

EDIT: for those curious what Webflow had previously written (late December 2019),

From infrastructure improvements, to staffing up our team, we’re currently working through various initiatives that will enable us to create a foundation for multi-language sites. Though we can’t commit to any timeline, as a team we recognize how important building multi-language sites is to all of you.

The comments on the Wishlist item are clear: users are disappointed, frustrated, confused, and disenchanted that Webflow has any ability to deliver on what many of its users actually need.

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I understand the frustration, especially if you were holding out for this feature among all others, but they took the time to candidly respond to a popular Wishlist item not being an immediate priority on their roadmap—while giving a solution (albeit something that may not work for everyone)—and even said that they intend to build it the right way natively at some point. In my opinion this doesn’t seem at all like they’re abandoning the feature, but instead being transparent about the shifting roadmap they’re using internally and making sure they approach it correctly.

They may not be following the request priority of the Wishlist, but I think it’s hyperbolic to assume that they’re “detatched from the reality of [their] users”. Let’s take the 5,438 votes as individuals throwing their support behind the idea (rather than a much more likely ~3,000 folks who used up to 3 of their votes on the idea) and compare that to their 100,000 active customers. At best, that’s less than 6% support for a feature that doesn’t address the other pressing issues you’ve brought up in your own response. Your edit actually further strengthens their priority as I’d rather they focus on the core of their product before offering solutions that one, are already possible with third-party tools, and two, require a strong foundation and thoughtful implementation to be successful.

Webflow is really a unique player in the no-code (or low-code) space and it’s painfully obvious how promising it is based on the passionate responses we’re seeing here in the community. Let’s just remember that their platform (specifically the Hosting part of it) is completely optional and can be circumvented by exporting the project to modify as you see fit. It’s by no means the cheapest option, and doesn’t work for every situation, but when it makes sense for a project I’d imagine most of us can agree that it’s an absolute joy to use. When my clients need something else, I either look into other platforms all together, or consider exporting for modification to fit with the needs of the project at hand.

I apologize if my optimistic posts don’t seem super helpful to the critical responses here on the forum, but I personally feel like they need to be making more announcements like this that cause the exact type of responses and frustration from some customers. When that happens, I’ll be right here with my half full glass and the trust in the team to do what’s best in the long run.

This no-code game is a marathon, not a sprint, so let’s all hope that we see consistent, meaningful steps to continue transparency and features that no only help the fringe users but also the customer base as a whole :webflow_heart:

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Oh, no, I agree with you: Webflow’s foundation is significantly depressed and far above its capacity (see my earlier post in this thread). I honestly believe Webflow will significantly weaken the Designer’s performance & reliability if it adds any more significant features.

If you read my previous post here, you’ll see we are on a similar wavelength: where are those foundational improvements? What is being done about Designer performance, the robustness of CMS’ backend, interactions treated as single-page citizens, back-end performance (that nearly killed nested collections, as admitted by Vlad), etc.? Those are the real priority, but those have next to zero transparency.

I would love Webflow to dedicate 6 to 12 months to pure back-end optimization and QA. Webflow desperately needs it and I’ll be the first to call for it: implement a total feature freeze now and fix the underlying weaknesses.

I’ll go even further: Webflow could even consider making some performance-degrading, niche, low-use features as opt-in only and disable these features completely on all other sites.

// on your notes

The actual issue revolve around communication, as with every serious misstep. We’re all developers in some way here. Unfortunately, Webflow’s Wishlist administrators:

  1. waited nearly 13 months to share any serious updates;
  2. gave an update not connected to the previous update—where are the various initiatives? How are those teams coming?
  3. recommended third-party software that everyone who cares about multi-lingual already knows about (because Webflow has an entire page for third-party localization tools, which Webflow somehow forgot to link, but instead picked a pricey favorite);
  4. missed the point of a Wishlist if items need a significant number of “100k users” to implement. Webflow has already implemented many features with far fewer votes. This is customer feedback 101, IMO: no one should expect 100k users to line-up for a single feature request before it becomes a priority.

From infrastructure improvements, to staffing up our team, we’re currently working through various initiatives that will enable us to create a foundation for multi-language sites. Though we can’t commit to any timeline, as a team we recognize how important building multi-language sites is to all of you.

In the end, we agree. Webflow should avoid falling into the trap of only delaying Wishlist items, but then also make 1) consistent, 2) public, and 3) material progress on its mountains of technical debt, most of it sight unseen and completely disconnected from the Wishlist.

Real candor: “Webflow is undergoing a serious back-end upgrades; this is critical for both reliability and performance, but also for sustainable growth and one day implementing major features from the Wishlist. The Wishlist is thus moving to a backlog-only mode until we are completely ready. We’ll be going through stages. Today is stage 1. We hope to reach stage 2 by Q4.”

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I totally get it and I understand both you and I (as well as all other community members) want Webflow to grow, sustainably, into a truly robust platform that works for all types and scopes of projects. It takes a focused vision for the future (which I believe they have) along with lots and lots of time, energy, and passion. These changes won’t happen over night—not even after multiple rounds of funding.

With money comes new talent with new perspectives and insight, and with that, they shift their focus. This is all comes with new challenges, balancing a growing user base, and making sure they set up their current and future employees with the tools and freedom to thrive. They need to keep a strong monetary flow so they don’t depend on future funding and become reliant on outside ideas or goals. All of that happens in tandem with evolving technology and the goal of being on the forefront of that evolution.

I think everyone can agree that hindsight is 2020 and the only reason we should be looking to the past is to ensure we do things better in the future. In the 20 days of 2021 I’ve seen promising things from the Webflow team that I hope they continue with for the next 11 months and well into the years to come. Let’s encourage them to be better today while they focus on tomorrow, rather than criticizing them on what they did yesterday. Let’s encourage quality work and appreciate the amazing product they’ve made while ensuring that our criticisms continue moving them forward and focused on their customers needs.

I’m looking forward to their first Community Business Review in April and I feel like we owe it to the team to see how they approach this new avenue for communication.

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Sound like you stop developing your own tool and are going to really more on plugins and 3rd party tools thats one of the major complaints because of the costs … You read that everywhere on the forums so you still dont listen.

Also there is a lot wrong with the ui of the designer cutting of things no search features in the cms . This is something you can make a road map for too.

We already have made this request to the support webflow forums facebook socialmedia channels you just dont seem to listen.

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