Paddle Creative designs all of our websites using Webflow due to the fantastic design capability, powerful CMS, scalability and options available when creating websites for our clients - but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Despite Webflow being an amazing platform, beginners and even seasoned web developers can often struggle to develop a custom website, so let's take a look and see if Webflow is a good web design platform for beginners…
How Hard is it to Learn Webflow?
A common question people seek an answer to is, ‘Why is Webflow so hard to use?’
Many different factors go into this answer since Webflow is so unique and different from any web development software on the market. Of course this in part depends on the individuals skill level and experience but experience aside, Webflow can take some getting used to.
Webflow - A Unique Platform
Unlike other website design and building services, Webflow is a distinctive platform. AWS, Webflow's integrated publishing and hosting platform, is only one of the many distinctive, sophisticated services it provides. Looking at a Webflow blank canvas for the first time might be intimidating given that the design platform is centred around a visual designer rather than pre-made components or themes.
The Class Naming System
The visual class naming system is a unique structure only used in Webflow. All website components are grouped and stored in the naming system and this is what shapes the whole website. Making a mistake with the Class Naming will change how the website is shaped so it’s a good idea to get acquainted with the feature before going head-first. Like most new things, it takes a while to get used to due to the complex structure, especially given that there are no rules within the Webflow visual class naming; it is challenging to master and easy to mess up! Here at Paddle Creative, we use what is referred to as ‘Client-first’, providing a robust, trusted development of all sites.
Does Webflow use plugins? Unlike other web development platforms like Wix and WordPress, Webflow doesn’t offer plugins, even on its paid subscriptions. It is, however, possible to use 3rd party integrations - with the help of some experience - to achieve similar capabilities. No plug-ins isn’t a disadvantage to the platform, in fact it’s on the contrary. In the absence of pug-ins, Webflow is free of the security vulnerabilities associated with plugins, which are common issues of other site builder platforms such as WordPress. It should also be noted that Webflow has a collection of onsite features which offer many of the same features as plug-ins.
Starting From Scratch
It can be daunting, but on Webflow, each website will begin with a blank canvas (unless using a template). This is one of the reasons Webflow can be deemed hard to use. With no beginning structure or ready-made class names, this means everything is started from scratch so you need to implement your class naming structure. While that may seem difficult at first, it gives you total creative freedom so you can get on with creating bespoke Webflow websites.
Since Webflow can be challenging, its founders created a special tool for those who give it a try - Webflow University.
What is Webflow University?
Webflow University is the Webflow learning hub with a range of courses for all abilities. It was launched in 2013 to help those new to Webflow develop their Webflow skills and learn how to use the platform, giving a more extensive guide on beginning your Webflow journey. Webflow courses can also be used for specific projects.
Webflow University is the best place to start if you’re making your mark on Webflow.
What’s on offer:
- A community forum where you can seek help from Webflow Developers
- Trustworthy information made by top-end Webflow developers
- Free Content
- Levels ranging from amateur to expert, meaning anyone can give it a go using the provided tutorials
- A variety of Video and written content to suit your needs
Webflow University is a great way to test what Webflow is about without being too overwhelmed.
Are Webflow Courses Free?
Yes, Webflow courses are entirely free! Webflow courses again provide a great way to learn more about Webflow. There are also some great paid courses from people such as Ran Segel, Finsweet, and John D Saunders which can be highly beneficial to take your Webflow learning to the next level.
Who will help you to take your Webflow learning to the next level?
Will Webflow Replace Web Developers?
No one truly knows what the future holds, but in this instance Web Developers have no need to worry - Webflow will not replace web developers. Rather, web developers use Webflow and build on the capabilities of the platform with additional coding. It is increasingly common for website developers to use their skills to enhance the capabilities of the Webflow platform. These sorts of developers are becoming known as Webflow Developers.
Does Webflow have templates?
The answer is yes. Webflow does offer templates for many types of basic projects. This can help beginners improve their skills with initial ideas included in the template. The problem here is that using a template means that the site isn’t nearly as unique as it would be when created by a human developer. Unlike projects made from a blank canvas, the templates can be challenging to alter. Despite this, they are a great starting point for beginners and worth using! Webflow templates can be found here.
Paddle Creative does not use templates and always begins from scratch to maintain the distinctive design of each site.
If you need help with creating your perfect Webflow website, take a look at how we can assist now and get in touch with our friendly team, who will be happy to share some tips.