Webflow is a great platform that enables people to build a professional website even if they don’t know how to code. It’s more potent than other similar options, offering more customizability and flexibility. But many aspiring web developers wonder if they should learn how to code if they know Webflow. In other words, is Webflow better than coding?
In some ways, Webflow can be better than coding, as it’s far easier to learn and a great way to enter the web development industry. But it’s still vital to know how to code if you want to go deeper into web development since most of Webflow’s customizability needs coding skills from the developer.
Every few years, a new platform comes along that swears to “make coding useless.” In the early 2000s, some schools and colleges told aspiring computer science students to “not bother learning code since it will be obsolete in ten years.” And yet, coding skills remain relevant to this day. But do you really need it if you are only working with Webflow? Let’s find out.
Does Webflow Need Coding?
Let’s start by looking at what Webflow is to understand its relationship with coding.
Webflow is an online web development platform that allows you to create unique and professional websites using a graphical user interface (GUI). In concept, it’s similar to other web content platforms like WordPress, Joomla, Wix, and Shopify. You could say the main difference is that it combines the simplicity of Wix and Shopify with the power of WordPress and Joomla.
Webflow Has Coding At Its Core
Webflow was built by a team of developers who can code. They write complex programming code that allows you to create a website without code. Webflow then takes the elements you build through its GUI and converts them back into code that will display the website.
The World Wide Web Requires Code
Web browsers display websites as we see them, full of colorful text, pictures, and animations, but that’s not what a website is. A website is nothing but code, as you can see when you right-click on a web page in a browser and select “View Source” or “Inspect Element.”
Do You Need Coding To Build A Webflow Website?
There’s no need for you to know coding to build a great-looking website in Webflow. The developers constructed Webflow for professionals, not beginners, but made it easy for anyone to work with, regardless of whether they have coding experience.
The catch is that Webflow is template-based. As the first step of building your website, you must select a template. You can customize it to a certain extent using tools similar to other web builders. Still, in the end, there will be certain similarities between your website and every other Webflow website that uses the same template.
This is where coding comes in. Webflow allows you to add custom code to change a variety of things, including:
· Adding custom CSS to customize the template and add special visual features that Webflow doesn’t support natively.
· Using custom HTML to change certain page elements that you can’t change with the default Webflow Editor.
These are all aspects that could make your website unique. You can know Webflow inside and out, but if you don’t have a basic understanding of how code works and interacts with different Webflow page elements, you can never go beyond what the system allows you to do.
Webflow is constantly growing and evolving, but do you really want to wait for the developers to add the functionality you want?
Coding Beyond Webflow
Webflow makes it incredibly easy for someone to enter the web development industry. The tools allow you to start a freelance web development business with minimal startup capital and equipment.
But the fact is that most web developers want to grow rather than stagnate, and there’s a good chance that you will want to (or have to) expand into new platforms at some stage. For this, coding knowledge may be beneficial or even essential.
Coding Makes It Easy To Migrate To Different Platforms
Let’s assume your freelance web development business grows at a tremendous rate. All your clients are happy with the Webflow websites that you’ve been building for them. One of these clients is so pleased with your work that they recommend you to a friend, another business owner.
This person has an existing website that another developer built for them using another platform, like WordPress. After a falling out with the previous developer, this customer wants you to help them with the WordPress site and offers you a large sum of money you can’t refuse.
WordPress is considerably different from Webflow and isn’t something you can learn in an hour by watching YouTube videos. However, coding knowledge will help you to understand the fundamentals of how any web development platform works, narrowing the learning curve considerably and making it easier to migrate to any other platform.
Coding Removes The Limitations
All web developers reach the point where they get frustrated with the limitations of the platform they’ve been using. The problem is that all systems are nothing more than other people’s interpretations of what’s essential in a website.
Webflow is far less limited than many others in this regard, but it still has its limitations, and sooner or later, those limitations will start bothering you.
Then you can go beyond that and learn PHP, Python, or any of the hundreds of programming languages that can build advanced web apps. By this point, you would even know how to develop your own platform similar to Webflow if you wanted to.
Without learning code, you will always be limited by what other people think you should be able to do. Learning code removes those shackles and frees you to build the website that you want to develop.
Webflow is not better than coding, even though it’s excellent as a way to learn the basics of web development and a doorway to becoming a professional web developer. You must have coding knowledge to get the best possible results from Webflow, and even more so if you want to move beyond the confines of a pre-built web development platform.