Will there be a next Webflow?

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.

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You are taking a very big leap with that opening, based on the contents of the article.

The large Series A is in part explained by the relative
maturity of Webflow’s business, which has been profitable for two years and counts 47,000 business customers. Webflow’s annualized revenue is more than $20 million, a source with knowledge of the company’s financials says; the company is valued between $350 million and $400 million after the investment, according to the source. - Forbes Article

You are certainly welcome to your opinion, but that is all it is, as is mine.

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Wow. Webflow might not be for you, but it’s for me. I hate Wix & Wordpress and Webflow most definitely has some things to work on, but with the investors and their reasons for investing have me excited.

So far, Webflow has advanced my css knowledge leaps and bounds. Yeah, could of did it all by hand, but was just so much damn fun and way more engaging with the visual editor.

This software is different and was limited till technology advanced. As Chrome and others browsers become more standardized, it frees up technology out of beta.

Webflow would rather wait… piss off a few people for the better good. They are trying to keep incompatibility to a minimum; while, adding the most important features first.

I’m happy here and in it for the long haul.

Thank you Webflow!

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That’s… dramatic.

Seconding Jeff here - there’s a reason the investment was so large. Webflow isn’t going anywhere, and the positioning of being a no-code tool seems pretty spot-on to me. I’m not going to pull back on learning Webflow anytime soon - if anything, this investment announcement makes me excited for the future. To me, it means that the platform will get better, e-commerce will make its own leaps and bounds (!!), and Webflow gets to hire even more incredible talent to support this growing infrastructure.

To each their own, I guess. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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4 years ago I took Wordpress classes at our local comm coll - and halfway through, I realized that Wordpress was not for me. So I went with Adobe Muse. I chose poorly.

Now It’s 2am on Labor Day weekend and here I am researching which software I should rebuild my 600+ page website in. Webflow or Wordpress. My entire future… my wife’s future… my kids future depends on this 50/50 choice. Webflow or Wordpress. I CAN NOT AFFORD TO CHOOSE THE WRONG COMPANY AGAIN.

I’ve got less than 6 months to rebuild my entire website and I’ve been leaning towards Webflow… I’ve even built a relative a one-page site for his side hustle just so I can get the feel of Webflow and I really like it. I’m not too worried about developer requests on the Webflow forum of this or that function / wishlist (not saying they are not important or irrelevant - it’s just not my primary concern for my small manufacturing business). I just need a site that works… ranks in Google… and is here to stay.

The reason why I’m up researching at this unGodly hour - I just read an article that states Google AMP is the end-all-be-all if you want your website to rank high on Google mobile (80% of our traffic is mobile) and Google is going all in w/ AMP. And I’m also reading that Webflow and Google AMP are not compatible. This has me scared - very scared. I can ill afford investing in a sitebuilder that is going to go the way of Adobe Muse or at least not have the capability to rank high on search engines if the pages are not AMP compatible.

After reading this post from Uzzer (and the apocalyptic title), I’m thinking it will be safer to go w/ Wordpress (as much as I’d hate to do so). I’m sure that AMP is on the Webflow “Wishlist” - but wishlist items don’t provide security - hence “wish”. I also realise that Dell is using Webflow - but if Webflow pulls a Muse, Michael Dell doesn’t have to worry about putting food on the table for his family. Ever.

Is there ANYTHING that you can let us know about AMP that will ease my nerves? I’ve watched EVERY Webflow video (not kidding - I made a spreadsheet / 233 rows - and added notes / see partial page image). I plan(ned) on going all in with Webflow… but now… I’m concerned / stressed if I’m making the right choice. Google / AMP has a lot of power -

@ FSUAlum98 ~ AMP is mostly suited for news articles and alike with mostly text and still images. It’s great for a mobile UX: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRTajr0SpMw

So it depends what kind of site you will be building.

Ultimately the goal is to stay compliant with Google and all their changes. Especially when it comes to mobile. Speed is an extremely high priority and concern.

I have confidence that Webflow has these issues on their list in order of importance and the new investments are going to help. :slight_smile: Definitely looking forward to using AMP or a comparable markup in some future projects.

You may want to check storychief.io on which you can enable an AMP channel. Haven’t tried the feature yet, I just know it’s there.

I don’t know about AMP or how important it is for different types of sites.

Re: “wishlist” items… my experience is that if a website builder doesn’t have a critical feature, but it’s a “wishlist” item raised by the community, I’m essentially rolling the dice on whether that feature will be built sooner, later or never. If a company isn’t willing to announce a specific timeline and release date of a feature, I’m at their mercy on when or whether it will be built.

Yeah I agree with you but there’s not much left to do for Webflow to be perfect, I just need customer accounts and form file uploads on basic CMS. My life will be much more easier with that, there are some third party workaround but not with the level of customization Webflow provides.
I wished they had a proper roadmap which could increase traction to the service as a lot of devs still prefer wordpress unless they are sure the find the same feature on webflow.

Wordpress is only so prevalent because of timing, it’s open source so cheap to set up, at the time of mass adoption Apple and Adobe killed Flash so there wasn’t really any alternatives to it for designers used to that freedom and intuitive process for interaction design. Wordpress is still a complete nightmare to use for building anything other than a blog which is what’s its original intended use was. Let alone the overheads of dealing with plugins for everything and finding good ones in amongst thousands of potential security risks.

Every single other UI/UX platform/tool I’ve seen compared to Webflow e.g. Sketch/XD/InVision etc all stop at prototype stage and assume you’re a designer working in a large corporation where you’ll just hand off pseudo html/css/javascript to developers to implement. They’re ‘No production tools’ if you wish and serve to perpetuate the us and them relationship between designers and developers which I think is a big hurdle to progression and productivity. Something Webflow has the potential to address.

I tend to agree with you about positioning Webflow as a ‘no code tool’ Photoshop was never released as such, all of the image processing maths that makes it useful was wrapped up in a human readable user interface with the focus on processing photographic images.

Personally I think a better position for the platform to take is a ‘can code tool’ as in it’s visual but not opaque to the underlying technology on which the internet runs and there is the ability to use ‘code’ if you want to. It’s great for designers needing more than things like Wix and could be great(er) for designer/developers as well.

In my opinion a major reason for the continual compartmentalisation of design and production tools and the apparent lack of progress to observers is mainly protectionism. Many developers know that their area of expertise is most at risk from automation - computers are going to be a lot better at speaking computer than humans in the vast majority of cases.

The other facet is corporate culture from the wider information technology industry, whilst not unique its history is one of acquisition and consolidation of smaller useful developments to larger organisations where innovation stagnates and in many cases ceases.

I’m expectant Webflow proves an exception to the paradigm and I feel the need to be constructively critical especially at prescient periods in the future direction of useful technology.

As a user of a tool that has vast potential I hope Webflow is the next Webflow.

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I like Webflow a lot and it’s a unique tool that seems great for designers who want flexibility to create beautiful brochure-type sites.

However, re: the CMS, it’s great in some ways (ease of creating multiple references) but I find that if you need it for anything beyond very basic stuff it lacks some critical features…

  • No user-driven searching/sorting
  • No ability to list multi-referenced items in a list view… i.e. in a list of blog posts, you can’t display the tags
  • When you pull through referenced data… for example let’s say you have a conferences database, and you create and reference a separate database of event venues so that you don’t have to retype the conference venue and address every time. This is helpful, but now you can’t search/sort the events database by location. Sort of subverts the purpose of referencing in the first place.
  • Limited ability to customize the data input pages, so once your database starts to grow it gets tough to manage.

So re: the CMS, a good start and some nice functionality on top of the design capabilities, but it’s not really at the level of other databases out there in my experience.

Sam_Sharpe, have you read the Forbes article?

Even if you have, I urge you to give it a second read and pay extra attention to this piece at the end:

But the money will allow Webflow to invest more in marketing, community events and in hiring to build its non-website builder products. “If we can do that sooner and still focus on customers and our team, why not?” he says. “Why not make a bigger dent in the universe?

This is a straight statement of “I am giving it up”. What are those “non-website builder products” for God’s sake?

This is a new term introduced to all of us and I am stunned how no one seems to notice it.

Vlad is not going to pay attention to Webflow any more, he says it straight and then he confirms it by saying “and still focus on customers and our team”!

Of course one cannot focus on Webflow and a line of “non-website builder products”, that is self-evident to anyone who has run even the smallest type of project. Webflow is complex enough to demand complete focus on itself.

Therefore, that is the politically correct way to tell the world, “I don’t care about Webflow any more, I am going to build whatever fancy side projects fill my imagination/ my investors’ imagination”.

Months ago Vlad used to brag how Webflow was a sustainable business model, not needing outside investors to put their agenda. The future was promised bright and stable.

Now that he sold out and contradicted his intentions, and this disgraceful article on Forbes, on top, the community does not even seem to realize what has just happened.

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Wow @uzzer, this is so full of inaccuracies that I don’t even think it deserves a response, but for the benefit of others I’ll say something…

Can you please let me know what kind of value this pessimistic bologna even brings to this community forum?

This funding was actually a long while ago, and we still have a sustainable business model, and that’s not changing whatsoever.

There’s zero loss of focus on websites. Websites happen to be a subset of software/products, with the exact same technologies being used across both websites and web applications – which will empower 100x as many people, without compromising on the things that Webflow is already great at.

Please reconsider your use of this kind of counterproductive vitriol and pessimism – it brings absolutely zero value to this awesome community.

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Hi Vlad, thank you for visiting this thread. I know your time is precious and I really appreciate it.

But, keeping the line of first things first, let me ask you to keep this discussion civil and constructive. Even if you are the CEO and me, just a plain user, I still have the right to ask you for this. Just because you do not like things said in my post, is not a ground to denigrate it and call names such as “vitriol and pessimism”. All I have stated is facts.

I am a paying customer, as well as many other people on this forum and we are in a position to question the direction at which Webflow is heading, aren’t we?

(Especially given the plenty of bugs not cleared, the essential feature requests marking their 5 year birthdays, smaller feature requests which seem to have no chance of ever being addressed, the steady decline of Webflow’s UI, the inane marketing approaches and the overall half-baked CMS, (not even) half-baked interactions 2.0, (not even) half-baked e-commerce.)

A serious investment such as this one does deserve discussion, answers, suggestions and why not - criticism? If you think that such a discussion does not bring anything to the community, you are just not being honest (to the community).

Anyway, could you point out those inaccuracies? The Forbes article is a fact, the investment is a fact and then, some of us, do know a thing or two about startups and investing, and what usually follows in cases such as this one. Btw, there’s nothing sustainable in having received large funding - you are the mercy of your investors and anyone who is sane and business literate knows this. That ludicrous statement “though it mostly replaces Wordpress today” was authored by your investor, wasn’t it? Do you really want us to believe with this funding it’d be you who is going to say what should happen and what not, instead of your investors? Whatever folly comes to their mind, you’d have to take it. Just the way you dislike criticism on this forum, so do investors would dislike you not agreeing with whatever ingenious agenda comes to their minds and you know it.

Do not get me wrong, I take zero satisfaction in writing any of this. I still wish I am completely wrong. But your reaction just seems to prove the opposite :frowning:

LOL. Don’t throw rocks and then hide your hands. You literally told the man that he doesn’t pay attention to or care about Webflow anymore. The same Webflow that I am sure he has dedicated countless hours to build. Not to mention overcoming so many obstacles for it to even continue to exist today. I don’t blame him. I’d be pissed too. There is a way to provide constructive criticism and your approach here just ain’t it.

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dapitts08 please read the original Forbes article.

I have and don’t understand how you got to conclusions you did but that’s neither here nor there. My comment to you had nothing to do with the article. It had to do with how you have communicated whatever criticism you have in this post.

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It’s not that criticism isn’t welcome, it’s the tone that you used (and continue to use) to present your unfounded conclusions.

Anyway, could you point out those inaccuracies?

Ok, sure. I’ll use the same paragraph as basis…

some of us, do know a thing or two about startups and investing, and what usually follows in cases such as this one

Here you’re making the inaccurate assumption that every business and investment is the same. It’s absolutely not.

Btw, there’s nothing sustainable in having received large funding - you are the mercy of your investors and anyone who is sane and business literate knows this.

Also inaccurate.

That ludicrous statement “though it mostly replaces Wordpress today” was authored by your investor, wasn’t it?

Our investor wasn’t involved in that article outside of a short interview. That was all me.

Do you really want us to believe with this funding it’d be you who is going to say what should happen and what not, instead of your investors?

Yes, since that’s the actual truth. You have no clue how our partnership is structured, and please don’t draw conclusions on your very limited understanding of stereotypes you might have picked up elsewhere.

Whatever folly comes to their mind, you’d have to take it. Just the way you dislike criticism on this forum, so do investors would dislike you not agreeing with whatever ingenious agenda comes to their minds and you know it.

Again, false.


You’re welcome to share constructive criticism, but continuing in the direction you’re going in is in clear violation of our community guidelines.

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Hey Guys and Gals - never has a large infusion of money meant the death of a great product. Quite the opposite. It means, “Together, let’s take this great product to the next level”. I’m kinda excited.

Webflow is a great product. Wordpress is a great product. Each has it’s own sweet spot. And there’s lots of room for both to continue to grow and flourish. I use both, happily.

Uzzer … chill buddy!

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Agreed. One thing I have always been impressed about with Webflow is the helpful constructive nature of the forum participants. I hope Uzzer reconsiders tactics. He seems to be a very talented guy.