There’s no doubt that Webflow is a designer's dream. Its user-friendly interface of no code tools allows designers to create stunning websites without front-end developer skills. But is it possible to create bespoke, high-tech features with no code development experience?
Webflow is a popular no code website development tool with a visual canvas that allows you to create, build and publish responsive websites. Although Webflow is a low-code platform, it can still handle complex SEO projects, web apps, and eCommerce sites that require scalable customizations and additional security.
Although Webflow is one of the best low code platforms around, it truly shines in the hands of a skilled web developer. In fact, Gartner (a technological research and consulting firm) predicts that by 2024 low-code and no code apps will dominate the market, and front-end developers will have built 65% of them. So, if you want to know why - read on!
Webflow Coding – What You Should Know
Webflow is touted as a low code or no code web development tool with a simple drag-and-drop graphical user interface and a highly responsive layout that has democratized web development technology.
It empowers website designers with no code capabilities and non-programmers (so-called citizen developers) alike to create bespoke software designs and make their vision come to life.
The profound no code movement does facilitate creativity and innovation. In the past, a lack of coding skills would have been a barrier to entry as it required advanced coding skills from professional developers.
However, there is an essential caveat if you use Webflow in your professional capacity as a no code developer. While it is a no-code platform, you need a rudimentary understanding of how the code functions, including coding language best practices.
Most importantly, you need to know the unique limitations and how to work around them. With that said, how do no-code web applications built on low code platforms work?
Though it’s important to point out that even though Webflow is a no-code app, it does not remove the need for full-stack web developers, especially if you want to fine-tune your website and add sophisticated features.
Seasoned website developers also benefit from using no-code apps like Webflow as they don’t have to write ridiculous amounts of code from scratch, making the website and app development process much quicker and ultimately cheaper.
Webflow creates a strong foundation for HTML and CSS building, crafting world-class animations, CMS, and hosting so front-end developers can focus on what they excel in—crafting technically advanced, cutting-edge features.
The Pros And Cons Of Webflow Coding
There are a few essential factors to remember if you want to find the most time-efficient web development software that suits your business needs in the long run.
While no-code Webflow is perfect if you don’t need a lot of customization, you might be better off opting for a low-code platform.
Although no-code and low-code software indeed share a lot of overlapping features, here are their most important differentiators:
Page Loading Speeds
US ecommerce stores sales have increased by 43% post-pandemic, highlighting the dramatic transition from in-store to online business models and the need for an agile and proficient web development team.
Highly efficient page loading speeds have therefore become essential. In that regard, low-code software excels with 40-60% quicker operating speeds than traditional web development CMS platforms. Why, might you ask?
Low-code software relies on pre-built blocks that make troubleshooting and repairing bugs much faster, with the added advantage of being scalable.
Similarly, no-code pages load faster as there are limited plug-and-play alternatives to choose from, resulting in fewer technical errors.
Business Requirements Coding
Different departments within an organization can use no-code and low-code simultaneously, according to their operational requirements.
Low-code software is suited to IT departments and business owners who need customized sites or web apps. At the same time, other departments like legal, HR, finance, production, and sales can rely on no-code platforms to alleviate pressure on other stakeholders.
Cyber Security And App Integrations
If you are a risk-averse business owner, you will significantly benefit from using low-code software as it provides an opportunity to improve your cyber security and protect your data.
Therefore, you can build robust networks with added layers of security and integrate with various apps, e.g., APIs, to safeguard your central data.
Additionally, low-code software platforms offer a multitude of helpful library elements to implement. So, it is incredibly time-efficient.
In contrast, no-code is better suited to businesses that don’t require additional cyber security barriers and are looking for a user, and budget-friendly web development tool without all the "bells and whistles."
Why You Need Some Webflow Coding Skills
Webflow is great for B2B websites and small-to-medium-sized businesses that cannot afford to pay skilled programmers in the development process.
However, it isn't easy to build e-commerce platforms, web apps, or enterprise-level SEO projects with fast page loading speeds and without HTML coding skills.
Especially if you consider how much patching and customization are required with no-code software that might require you to host custom code of more than 10,000 characters through third-party service providers.
So, you will get much more value for money by collaborating with an agile outsourced or in-house skilled team adept at Gitlab versioning control and project management.
Interestingly, building a web page with pre-coded elements in Gitlab Vue.js or React.js is often as time-intensive as creating and using no-code WebFlow elements on its drag and drop interface.
Thus, learning basic coding or outsourcing it to skilled web developers is essential and offers a great return on investment.
Ultimately, it's essential to keep in mind that building a fantastic website that meets and exceeds expectations demands collaboration and teamwork.
Even though no-code Webflow development tools appear cheaper and more time-efficient than investing time and money in collaborating with skilled full-stack web designers, it’s counter-productive to spread yourself too thinly. So you'd be better off having a professional developer help you with your Webflow project since, at the end of the day - specialization is synonymous with excellence.
Webflow is low code for businesses like e-commerce platforms that require scalable, unlimited customized features. So, you will be far better off outsourcing your site's design and development to an agile web development team equipped with the right skills to give you a competitive edge.