Yes the ability to have collaborators on a per-project basis without the need for an org account would be a good start but really only helps in more of a CMS context rather than a fellow designer/creator context. But I think the bigger issue for me is the Org account in the first place, its price, and the structure of webflow’s designer vs. user mentality.
I fall in the spectrum along with many other web designers where we don’t operate a huge business or large team. The smallest Org account is $70/month which is neat and all but just not sustainable without any kind of residual income on the clients we bring to webflow on that level of an account.
Now I see a great way to solve this issue:
The ideal process would be simply a way to add a client to a site as a CMS user upon which the client begins playing for some plan level. For example, I just finished a website design for the client and I’m ready to either give them CMS access or Transfer the site to them.
If they want me to remain the admin and just be a CMS user: I would invite them to the site as a CMS user and they would get a notification to accept via email. They would then either create their own webflow account or login to their existing webflow account. If they do not have a paid plan they would begin paying for whatever plan level they need to run their site(s). If 1 site then just the basic plan plus the $4.99 custom domain. The site remains in my webflow view as I am the admin but now in the client’s webflow dashboard they just have CMS capabilities of this site and are now handling the cost of the site.
The beauty of this method is they would also see any other sites they have created themselves or other sites I have given them access to in their dashboard; as well as any other designers that have invited this person to CMS level access. This allows me as the designer to remain the client’s caretaker of their site (which is is almost always what the client wants since they don’t know web) while both webflow and myself getting 50/50 income sharing.
Then if the client wants another website designed by me they just upgrade to the personal plan which allows 20 sites and I invite them as a CMS user for another site and so on. This method makes it sustainable for me as the designer and furthermore once I reach a certain number of sites I would imagine us designers would no longer have a “paid” account plan but simply split profits with webflow Maybe this would be around 5 websites or something. Essentially attract designers by giving us free accounts and both webflow and the designer make money off of the client CMS sites. Win win for all involved!!! Obviously I would cover the cost of any sites I create for myself in my webflow account.
Related note would be no charge for sites under development and only charge for sites that are published or for sites that have CMS users invited.
But what if I break ties with a client all together OR they just want to bring in a different designer OR hire and in-house designer? That’s when I would “transfer” a site to the client’s webflow account. Upon transfer the client now has full admin access of the site and I no longer see the site in my webflow account view. BUT I would still receive some (much smaller percentage) residual income for being the person to refer this client to webflow in the first place. Again win win for webflow, the designer, and the client!
( Ok, whew… so a quick picture of how I currently work may also help paint a picture of the problem that exists. I currently tell clients to create their own webflow account on the personal plan level. Then tell them to give me their login credentials. This is both annoying to have to remember a bunch of client credentials but more so a huge bummer that I’m not receiving any residual income for bringing a client to webflow platform. Plus the client now as full admin of the sites I’m creating which spells DANGER DANGER DANGER for us web designers! )
I hope that makes sense and would love to hash this out more if needed. Even by phone or personal email if anyone on the Webflow team wants to discuss more.
Last note is this might be further simplified by separating the two different types of Webflow users into Designer Accounts and Standard Accounts:
Designer accounts would be free with the designer and webflow splitting profits from the CMS clients and site transfers. Until a certain number of CMS sites are reached designers would only pay to cover any sites they create for themselves after a certain number of sites are reached maybe desinger account would have a gradually growing number of sites allowed for themselves. Such as 5 client sites gives the designer 1 site for himself etc…
User accounts would be self created webflow sites and accounts with CMS access.
Thoughts? Ideas? Could this work?