I Loved WordPress
I’ve developed in WordPress for years, and used to love getting lost in my own little sandbox creating WordPress themes and neat widgets into the small hours of the morning.
WordPress development today is still a great skill to have because people ask for it regularly with many of my customers getting referred by agencies that can’t code.
So I was happy, no need to change. Sure, I knew WordPress wasn’t perfect but it did the job OK and put money in my pocket... but then something happened!
I was speaking to a friend who wanted to learn how to code when Glenn piped up “You don’t have to code anymore!”. I immediately thought, “damn, I hope that's not true as I've invested years of my life learning to code, so please don't tell me my hard earned skills are becoming redundant!".
"Watch this!", Glenn exclaimed as he sprang into action and proceeded to log into a site called Webflow. Within seconds Glenn was showing us how to easily build a simple website by dragging and dropping elements onto the page and within minutes he had a basic web site set up.
“Ah-ha!”, I exclaimed. "The code is probably messy like the Wix and Weebly platforms, so nothing to worry about". But to my horror… Glenn immediately showed me the source code and would you believe it... the markup was CLEAN.
Genuinely I was shocked. I had never seen a drag and drop website builder that output code in such a SEO friendly structure let alone one that made use of my web designer knowledge - especially CSS - but I'll come back to that.
Grinning from ear to ear, Glenn explained to me that Webflow is a CMS platform that could do anything WordPress can do but better. Quite the claim I thought but intrigued, I had to dive deeper and find out for myself.
Webflow scared me. Think about it, I spent many years learning to code so it felt as though that part of my livelihood was under threat.
At the time the Web Development Industry was in crisis with an over saturated market full of WordPress agencies popping up all over the country.
So I left the world of WordPress development to focus on UX Design. But it wasn't long until I bumped into Webflow again. It turned out that many designers in our online community were working with or for Webflow.
After weeks of pressure, my love for WordPress started to fade as I could see that Webflow was the new kid on the block and he was going to change the web forever, no matter how much I didn't want it to happen.
4 years on, here I am typing this blog post on the Webflow platform. So why did I make the switch?
8 Reasons Why I Now Love Webflow
- More Time to Design: Webflow allows me more time to focus on UI (User Interface) Design due to the minimal amount of coding required, if at all. It allows me to create a better, thought out and polished product.
- Easy Ecommerce Integration (sell products on any page): WordPress was always a nightmare when it came to adding Ecommerce features but not so with Webflow.
- Uses Flexbox and Grids (and boy it’s clever stuff): You can create columns and responsive layouts that can flip between CSS Grid, Flexbox and Inline Columns for any breakpoint (screen size) easily.
- Uses a Content Delivery Network: Webflow is cloud-based so no updating required, everything is secure (https) and download speeds are super fast which is great for all kinds of reasons including SEO.
- Simply the Best Content Management System (CMS): I have used many CMS's but this was the best I had seen. Webflow allows people to login and update their website far easier than using the WordPress interface allowing you to update your content on-screen, visually, no fuss or stress.
- Webflow Still Allows Me to Code (if I want): Don’t get me wrong, Webflow still has its limitations but the platform still allows you to plug the gap with code.
- The Code is Gooood!: Webflow does not create inline markup and respects web standards. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few HTML elements I miss using but that is due to old habits dying hard normally. Instead, I'm learning new ways to achieve the same thing.
- Super Fast & Flexible: Development is ridiculously fast! Like building forms that will be up and running in just a few minutes and no server side form handling code required. Couple Webflow's Zapier integration with its Forms and you can do just about anything with your data capture.
Honestly, sometimes I miss being shoulder deep in code as I build out new things but I get my kicks from Shopify these days so I don’t miss anything else about WordPress!
You see the secret behind WordPress’s success wasn’t its flexibility or ease of use. Rather, WordPress has been a success because Agencies can easily sell website solutions that use WordPress templates and therefore turn a decent profit. Small businesses lapped it up because they thought that they were getting something unique which didn't cost the earth. But wouldn't you rather create an original website, something TRULY unique for your customers without it taking months to design and develop?
In conclusion, WordPress should not be the tool of choice for Web Designers and Developers when something as flexible and powerful as Webflow is available. My advice? Drop what you're doing and checkout Webflow right now: you won't regret it.