Content Management System
Apart from on-site editing, i.e. the possibility to change any text or media right on the page you’re designing, Webflow CMS allows manually defining custom content types (blog posts, projects, team members, etc) with fully customizable fields, which can greatly improve the life of those who manage larger web projects with complex structures.
This comes in the form of CMS Collections, accessible from the tab with a stack icon on the left side of the main editor view. After creating a collection, which is essentially a specific content type, you can set the fields and add items – to be used both as individual pages or as lists / grids on existing static pages; for example, you can add a “team members” collection to create a page showing your company’s people’s photos, names, descriptions, social links, etc.
Apart from the CMS back-end, there’s also the Webflow Editor, which allows adding new content of the existing type on a published website – useful both to the creators of the website and their collaborators, as well as to their clients. What this means is that you get a fully functional website with both editable static pages and dynamic content like blog posts, portfolio projects, etc, without the need to install any plugins.
The fact that it offers multiple content types, of which blog posts are just one option, means that webflow editor eats WordPress and other open-source systems like Drupal for breakfast when it comes to CMS flexibility. The flip side – it will take some time to get used to; however, the Webflow University (which we’ll discuss in detail below) can ensure the learning curve is as steep as possible.
One might get a feeling that Webflow strives to make the content management part as seamless as possible, in order not to steal the spotlight from the Site Designer – which is not a bad thing, considering its primary value proposition. In any case, Webflow’s CMS is still much more flexible and diverse than that of WordPress core or popular site builders like Wix.
Deployment and Hosting
Publishing your creation to a live URL is a breeze in Webflow: clicking the corresponding button on top of the Designer screen will call a drop-down of available deployment options, which include a subdomain of the webflow.com domain (typically recommended for testing purposes) and a custom domain. With the next click you can publish to any or both of these locations without having to worry about the details – everything else is processed in the background, automatically.
Webflow’s hosting services follow its “start building for free, add hosting to go live” principle: you can design a prototype (up to 2 static pages) in their staging environment, i.e. on a webflow.com subdomain, and then connect your own domain name (not included) by upgrading to one of Webflow’s hosting plans. The latter range from the basic, $12 per month* option with a 25k monthly visit limit, to the $36 per month* business version with more features and a 1m monthly visit limit (* with annual billing).
In addition to being an integrated solution, there are several advantages to Webflow Hosting that can really make a difference for your website’s performance and your webmaster workflow:
- Since it is based on the distributed infrastructures on some of the largest cloud providers in the world (Amazon Cloudfront and Fastly), it can scale seamlessly with your traffic demands, removing the need to manually upgrade your hosting server
- A built-in content delivery network (CDN) at no additional cost ensures that your website gets served from the node that is geographically close to your visitors, no matter where they are located
- The advanced distributed infrastructure means fast loading times and close to 100% uptime for your website, regardless of traffic spikes or even malicious attacks
- A built-in SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate at no additional cost ensures that your website complies with the modern security standards out of the box – no setup or prolongation required
Considering the above factors, Webflow Hosting is a scalable, ready-to-use hosting with a built-in CDN, priced on par with the best self-managed solutions like Digital Ocean as well as traditional website builders. Its value-for-money is a great complement to the other capabilities of this online suite, making it a full-cycle solution for web creators and potentially letting you save hundreds of dollars per year on CDN, SSL and other extras which otherwise need to be purchased separately.