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Why is Webflow a Hosted Program?

Continuing the discussion from Webflow pages vs. webflow projects:

Thanks for asking - I hope to clear up some reasons of why we’re a hosted program as opposed to a downloadable program:

  • True WYSIWYG. We believe that designing your site in the browser, and immediately seeing the results of your inputs is the way web design tools should work. Your canvas is your browser tab. We don’t believe in a translation layer, or a rendering engine that will magically write CSS for you. In Webflow, everything you’re doing has a direct effect on the HTML & CSS of your website. That’s why what you see in the designer is always what you see when you publish your site.
  • Pushing updates and improvements is fast. For example - if a user wanted a specific feature that would benefit all of our customers, we would be able to develop it, test it, and push it to our servers in less than 20 minutes. We don’t have to worry about building a package that will work on Windows or Mac, then waiting for everyone to install the update. Everyone runs on the latest and greatest.
  • Real world forms - In Webflow, you can build a form that works and collects data so you don’t have to build your own backend servers (PHP/Rails/Django, etc). This is only possible if you were designing the form in the browser.
  • Web is evolving Chrome has incredible performance characteristics, and it will only get better as time passes. Things like this are coming to Intel CPUs make developers like me very excited for the future of the web
  • There are a lot of other benefits of hosting on the cloud, and some of them will be more obvious as time passes!

Thanks Bryyant. Very detailed response and it’s clearer now why you opted to host.

Here’s another one:

  • True collaboration - it’s easier to create a collaboration tool if all the people on a team can access project files and edit project files at the same time. This is possible with desktop files, but its way harder to manage (dropbox, git, etc). Web design workflows are becoming more collaborative and having an online platform that makes it possible.

As a webflow user, I think that what distinguishes Webflow is that it does not try to over-simplify the way to create HTML/CSS pages. The logic of Webflow is exactly the logic HTML/CSS and not a Powerpoint logic. That way, working with Webflow allows you not only to make web pages easily, but also to understand the logic of HTML and CSS. And that way, now I feel like I can create html pages manually (or only by using bootstrap), but I will stay in webflow because of the other reasons listed by Brryant and thesergie.

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Allows us to own our creation. With the way Webflow is structured I don’t even own my design that I labour to create. This is unethical. Give us a file format like .ai, .psd or .wbf so that we can have a copy of our file. Please.

That’s something we’ve been thinking about and heavily considering, but a desktop app won’t be coming this year. I would like a desktop app too! It would be awesome. :smiley:

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Wait, did I just read that we can ask new features and have them deployed within 20 minutes?


Have a great day everyone :smiley:

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I value & understand Webflow is a Ferrari - it’s the screeching halt in productivity when life/travel etc forces me to be offline for a stretch.

I know this is a ‘newbie’ question, but could you suggest some ‘hybrid’ solutions? eg are there apps or …(something) that’d enable to work and ‘plug-back-in’ when I can get a connection again?

thank you!

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