< Back

I’m DONE With Webflow (Part 2)

I got a lot of questions and concerns regarding my initial video (https://youtu.be/a3F0hnJrvqE) and there were far more reasons for my decisions to stop using Webflow, so I discuss them here.


A few weeks ago I made a video answering a question I get asked a lot, am I still making Webflow videos? and I’m super happy with how that video turned out and the overwhelming positivity and support I got over on twitter discord and people liking and commenting that video. But a decision I made to only share one aspect as to why I quit Webflow seems to have people confused or somehow cheated, I chose the reason that as my audience tends to come to me for my views on accessibility.

I serve them first quite frankly, I actually recorded several reasons as to why I stopped using Webflow and stick around, as there was one huge reason that I struggled to decide between that was simply a no-go for some projects but for the sake of simplicity and keeping the video as close to 10 minutes as possible, I shared my biggest gripe which was accessibility. So now, I want to dig a bit deeper into the other reasons that may affect your decision when going with Webflow.

And before I get into it, I just need to remind you this is why I quit Webflow, my company designs and builds interactive websites for super large clients like Netflix and Corning, even Netflix independently came to the conclusion that Webflow is limiting and unscalable and I consulted with them agreeing that for their use case it’s not the right tool for them.

The websites you build benefit from Webflow by all means continue to use it and I implore you to continue to listen to both sides of the conversation, I did explain this at the end of my last video but I suppose by this point some people had checked out.

Now another reason why I quit Webflow is funny enough because of you the community within their own Facebook group I’ve constantly seen complaints about poor support lacklustre service where people are left confused stranded and in some cases spending money. Webflow seem generally quite..quiet in their community which is, I think the reason why they’re around the community that being the reason why they’re around especially when you’re building a tool that needs to satisfy a lot of people, why not listen more to your community?

Secondly, Webflow is expensive for what it gives you, we can build a simple website with smaller ongoing hosting costs many businesses don’t like such a high fee after they’ve already had their website built to me the power Webflow comes from its design tool and unless you’re constantly making design updates most of the ongoing price of Webflow is just quite frankly wasted hosting tends to be free on things like Netlify and small CMS’s can also be free. So think about that whether it’s something worth paying for an entire year.

For another reason, why quick Webflow is being locked into their ecosystem? Yes, you can bootstrap other tools and I’ll get into that but you’re paying for their hosting CMS and are limited to the features they deem important enough to support. What’s left of that is quite limiting exporting the code you write is a paid for feature which again means getting out can be a pain so while on the subject of bootstrapping while on the surface webflow’s integrations with a lot of these services seems great and simple.

I find it quite limiting often having to string two or three servers together to achieve very simple things, if you have access to an API any service is yours to use instead of waiting around for these integrations so as I have the know-how to use APIs, I never even bother looking at what integrations workflow supports and so with that here we finally have the huge reason why Webflow is just not a viable option for most of the websites that we build.

You as a developer only have access to the front end code of the site not the underlying code that generates the page why is this important well first of all when the page loads that’s the format the content is understood by search engines while you might use finsuite’s attributes library to filter search reorder and nest CMS items.

This is all done after the page is loaded this not only slows down the site but could also encourage illogical HTML structure that kills SEO similarly simply hiding content or user data in Webflow by bootstrapping services like member stack is just simply unsafe, because you’re making checks on the front end which anyone with enough sense that can interrogate the code or disable the JavaScript means that these post page load checks that authenticate someone are easily exploited.

If you’re hiding content like training videos as I’ve seen with a lot of people creating Netflix clones I can just simply disable the JavaScript and see all of that content. Ideally you check all this on the back end and only present the HTML once a user has been authenticated. This also means API tokens need to be exposed on the front end which are easily read, so you may as well be just giving away a password it’s simply not safe to authenticate or protect content from the front end.

And my company need to do this a lot and so once again we cannot use Webflow for building things like dashboards regarding my previous video and a few points in this one google will be getting better at paying attention to this stuff as it strives for a more accessible web and I predict it won’t be long until websites start to be punished for crazy layout changes post page loads and illogical HTML structure.

They already check for cumulative layout shifting, so be mindful of some of these changes in the future. I wanted to touch on my association with Pinegrow and why I chose it over Webflow firstly we very rarely use Pinegrow most of the projects we have are hand built in code using stuff like react or next JS but for fairly simple sites such as my agency site the journey I went through in interrogating Webflow is long and arduous.

I didn’t just make the decision simply thankfully, it’s all documented on this channel. I spend hours learning and criticizing the tool in live streams which I’ll link to below I pay homage to Webflow many times agreeing with the complexity of Pinegrow’s user interface and then being able to learn from Webflow and I even sat down with rob means from Pinegrow and spoke for over an hour asking about Pinegrow and challenging some of their decisions and overall just trying to understand the tool.

This is the level, I went to to make sure Pinegrow was the right tool for me and I’m so glad, I did while the interface may not be as simple as Webflow. Ultimately it comes down to one word flexibility to do what you want once again, I can’t stress how limiting Webflow is forcing you down avenues of hacks in order to get very very simple things to work so there wraps up a complete picture of why I, and again I stress this is my use case stop using Webflow.

I’m just sharing my opinion in an attempt to help you make your own decisions some people took this very seriously but I do congratulate them on exploring both sides of the story some of you could continue to disagree with me or maybe some of these points I’ve given you in this video, give you a better informed purchasing decision either way.

I hope this was helpful let me know in the comments if you made it this far in the video and of course you’ll let me know what you think of the points that I’ve made join my discord community like subscribe and with that, Happy building the future of the web.