I joined Webflow actually due to my research on visual design tools in 2015, as around that time such tools were getting popular and I wanted to see they would actually work and improve my workflow. Look, I even compiled a list here. I had trialled a couple of them as well as paid for a few promising ones that didn’t have a trial/free plan.
Webflow is (one of) the best
I must say Webflow had the most polished UI at that time (even now they are still improving and not going away), and this made it very easy to create HTML/CSS exports that I could easily use for integration with a third party CMS (Webflow didn’t have CMS at that time). Another plus point is that I can work on projects whether at home or at work, without having to download additional software. A few examples of designs I have successfully integrated with a third-party CMS:
The best thing about Webflow is that it allows me to create really really complex UIs from PSDs, and easily make updates to it from feedback provided by the project manager/client or changes from the designer. They can even sit down with me and I’ll make/show them the updated changes on the spot! Here’s what I’m talking about:
As a web developer who likes to hack stuff together, the custom code fields and component in Webflow is a delight to use to quickly add functionality to the UI created in Webflow. Many other Webflow competitors dumb it down and do not even allow you to do this! Here are a few projects that I might not have done if Webflow didn’t have custom code:
Much like @samliew, I’ve had a similar journey with Webflow!
My history and experience
I had been working in design (mainly graphics & branding) for about 10 years.
Webflow came along and instantly catapulted me into digital design. Over the last 2 years this has earned me the title of Lead Digital Designer within my marketing team, along with a hefty pay rise!
Webflow gave me the confidence to step up and pitch to my CEO and CFO that we needed a total website rebuild and I was the man for the job.
It was so easy to recreate my sketches within Webflow to completely overhaul the company’s old website and breathe new life into the business — we’ve achieved better brand awareness, higher quality leads, increased website traffic and a substantial increase in our SEO.
Before and after
Our website went from terribly out of date to exceeding the market we’re in:
I always had an interest in design, but never thought I would earn any money with it at all. I’m actually a close up magician, and Webflow oddly enough has helped me have my dream of quitting my office job as an estate agent and become a professional full time magician!
It started with Wix
I started working in a local clothes shop for an elderly family friend, and I found out he was paying a lot of money for a website that didn’t do anything. Literally nothing, no emails, no calls, no sales. They saw him as a cash horse, and they were cashing massively in on his lack of knowledge of technology.
I did some research and come across Wix. It was easy, but I didn’t like how restrictive and unresponsive it was. It helped the business somewhat as we could update it ourselves, but I wanted to be able to do more, and then I found Webflow in September 2015.
The Webflow Forums
The forums were such a huge help. I had some amazing constructive feedback with my design. I read more and more forum posts, looked at so many websites and tried to reverse engineer all the good stuff I liked, even if I didn’t use it.
The biggest thing that weirdly has helped me, is trying to help other newcomers. I find that trying to look for the problem that someone else is having, helps me to understand the platform better.
Without the forums and all of those who are a part of it I would have been stuck on the first Hero page.
Gaining more work organically
After I had built the wedding clothes shop website, I had someone ask me to build a site for them too… also in the wedding industry. I didn’t advertise, they just liked the site, got in touch with the shop to ask who built it and that was that. That was my first CMS site.
I then had a few more projects lined up that I’ve been able to earn some decent money from… and while I perform regularly at weddings and events as a magician and I’m getting busier and busier with it, my brain was thinking… if I can do the odd website here and there while earning more from Magic, then I’m going to be able to afford to quit the job I dislike so much.
“Webflow is my safety net!”
So I quit the 8am to 6pm desk job.
So I did. I left on good terms 5 months ago and here I am. At the moment I don’t have the need to build that many websites as the magic is busy… but the sites I do build, I make sure I charge the right amount for. Webflow gives me the confidence to be able to do that.
We have a 7 month old son, and living my life the way I am right now is a lot to do with Webflow allowing me to be creative, but giving me the confidence that if I need help, it’s there in abundance. So I’ll give back as much as I can to the forums.
I saw some guy named “Nelson” was doing a presentation on Webflow at a local San Diego based Meetup group one night about 3 or 4 years ago. I showed up and watched the presentation as he showed everyone how to design in the web browser with this fancy new web app. I lost interest immediately and racked it up as being just another poorly designed web app tool like Wix, Squarespace, Rapidweaver. Especially when he said you couldn’t edit the code. I even remember leaving the presentation early!
It wasn’t till months and months later I was researching a better way to design responsive wireframes and artwork without having to create all of the different snap points in Photoshop and Nelson’s Webflow presentation came to mind. I created a free Webflow account and started to experiment, only to discover a hidden gem! Within a few days of familiarizing myself with the UI I attempted my very first Photoshop to Webflow build and was sold. My developer loved it because all the assets and styles were now at his finger tips. No more guessing. I loved it because I could see how the snap points reacted in real time, as well as viewing the artwork right on my tablet and smartphone.
I have now ventured completely away from designing in Photoshop. I design all of my projects directly in Webflow. I only use Photoshop or Illustrator for photo editing or creating illustrations.
I look back now and laugh at how quickly I dismissed Webflow. I can’t IMAGINE having to go back to designing the traditional way in a rastor application like Photoshop. Webflow has increased productivity and development time significantly. It has saved our butts quite a few times and most of all…its just a heck of a lot of fun!
Web Design has always been a passion of mine, A friend of mine who is involved in the Webflow community introduced me to how Webflow works, Once I created an account, I was hooked!
9 Months down the line I sold my window cleaning business to be a Webflow Designer/Developer full time.
Bold move but im confident that work will be busy as it has been so so busy so far! Cant wait to see what the future holds, Webflow has changed my life, my future consists now of a job I love all in the comfort of my own home.