Now that Webflow is publicly announced dead (https://www.forbes.com/sites/alexkonrad/2019/08/07/webflow-went-from-near-bankruptcy-to-72-million-series-a/#5eb362b310af), what could we hope for our existing projects?
Webflow has been and still is monopolist in its field and this is the saddest part of the story. Macaw died prematurely (while its successor Invision is inadequate), Webydo and Froont never took off to become adequate competitors either, Stackfive (the clone of Webflow) was a joke and it ultimately shut down.
It seems that, for some reason, there’s lack of investment in the field, on the one hand and product development has not been extremely creative, on the other. Just think that Webydo or Froont could have at least dumbly copied the good interface features of Webflow, but they had not cared to even do that.
Another problem that I can see is the total marketing ineptness to properly position this new generation of web site builders. None of them had brought up the term and the concept of “visual coding” on a large scale. There’s no entry on “visual coding” in Wikipedia.
Coders who have never tasted Webflow still think it’s another Wix (when informed of its existence - most of them have never heard of it, no matter what founders (want to) think). At the same time graphic designers think it’s some programming language that’d take them the pains of learning how to code the usual way.
It’s just tragic to see that Webflow, after all these years, have no clue how to position their product. “No code tool” is the worst possible misnomer to put forward. It implies that this is yet another Wix - the worst association to have.
Webflow was never properly positioned as a Wordpress alternative, either. The attempts to do so were meagre and to a great extent, it never matured enough to be really seen as a viable Wordpress alternative.
With Webflow you can build a lot of features with great flexibility and precise control, something impossible in Wordpress, but still, with Wordpress you can have nearly every feature - at the expense of crappy plug-ins - but even that is the lesser evil in many use cases.
(In the Forbes article we can read “Though it mostly replaces Wordpress today…” A comical statement like this one is a self-insult to Webflow themselves. But then, that’s their own business.)
With Invision’s exception, wireframing tools remained short-sighted, too. They could have copied features of Webflow’s UI to make building wireframes as close to building actual web pages, as possible, but to this day, they seem plain oblivious to Webflow’s existence.
The question who, how and why would possibly build the next Webflow, remains.