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Webflow for developing web applications?

Hello, first time posting!

I was wondering if Webflow (and the code you can export) is suitable for web application development?

A dashboard which provides a company with different data, graphs, employee (or customer) profiles etc.

I know Webflow can not do this but if it’s simple to position myself as a designer who designs the html and css of the web application and then find a 3rd party to do the backend development, using the code I export?

Thank you!

TL;DR Strictly speaking yes it would be possible to do this. But there are many drawbacks, it’s hard to achieve a quality result, and this isn’t an efficient way to work. Just let Webflow do what it’s great at and leave web apps to dedicated frameworks.

It’s true that Webflow does produce relatively clean code - as long as what you input is sane. Webflow isn’t magic, but if you are using sematic elements and tags, and good HTML and CSS structure then you will get a good output. Basically “good in = good out” and “rubbish in = rubbish out”.

However, clean website code is not the same code used by most modern front end applications. Websites don’t need to manage state, whereas apps do. This is a major difference and requires a different approach to displaying static information in on a webpage (pretty much what Webflow does).

You also need to consider a developer’s workflow, versioning, deployment and all the other things that go into making a web app. I actually wrote a whole Medium article on this topic. It goes into a lot of detail, but you will get some good insights there.

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I just read your Medium article which you linked. Very good read and answered my question completely. Thank you Jason!

In the future, Webflow may come up with app building features. In this interview: No-Code Website Builder Webflow Went From Near Bankruptcy To A $72 Million Series A Funding Round, one of Webflow’s investors says:

“Expect Webflow to move into other areas of software development and app-building in the months to come. “That’s the real opportunity,” Mathew says.”

Hi Greg, hope this is still relevant to you.

I have been using Webflow for several years to build front-ends for web apps. So far I have always exported the site and with a lot of manual work I created Vue.js / React.js. components out of my exports.

I always wished I could leave the whole front-end of web applications in Webflow.

It seems that there are already good solutions to build web applications with authentication and memberships. (Like Memberstack or Firebase Auth)
However, there is still no easy way to create a web app with dynamic and editable user data.

Therefore I started to develop a solution for this during the last days.
Have a look at my website, and if you like you can join our beta here:

Hope this helps! :slight_smile:

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Thanks for post! its information useful