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I’m DONE with Webflow

A question I get asked a lot is “Do I still make Webflow videos” and here is your answer….


This has been an episode I wanted to release for quite some time as it’s a question I actually get asked a lot am I still making Webflow videos and the answer is no and here’s why?

Just so you know on this channel we talk about what it takes to run a full stack agency from someone who builds highly experiential and interactive websites from the likes of netflix corning various startups and branding campaigns so if you’re interested in learning more then hit subscribe and with that let’s get on with the video.

When one learns Webflow can be hugely liberating experience it’s free there’s nothing to install and it seemingly has everything you could ask for when it comes to designing and building interactive and beautiful websites, however you should not be designing your websites in Webflow I think the first website I made on Webflow took about four hours and I had interactions at animations galore I was still leveraging a template but in four hours this was fantastic and when I started this channel I saw an opportunity to describe to those unfamiliar with building websites.

Which seem to be the majority of those learning web flow what’s actually happening under the hood because with great power comes great responsibility and I saw videos from ran seagal or flux touting that you can build five to ten thousand dollar websites as a designer using Webflow but I knew this could go horribly wrong as it was led by the idea of the visual design of a website and I know the visual appearance of website is only half the story.

Websites are powered by html which unfortunately there is a spec for and many tools like search engine crawlers screen readers browsers everything other than humans use the information html has to perform the various actions so by writing incorrect html you’re actually crippling how these tools work and so I set on a mission to describe this to the world through the context of Webflow and so Webflow and code was born.

Quickly before we continue we’re going to be getting into why I use pine grove so i just wanted to say that they are offering 35% off all licenses right now so I’ll leave a non-affiliate link below so if this video does pique your interest why not get started for less.

Over time I began to see a huge flaw in web flow and accessibility the problem mainly revolved around Webflow interactions the thing with interactions on the web is that let’s say for example you trigger dialogue pop-up or like a slider and new content is added to the page that was hidden you need to give an accessibility user verbal cues as to what their action will do and when they do take that action what has changed.

As visual people we can do this easily with visual aids for like a clean and simple interface to give this verbal cue however you need to use something called area roles and i have a video about that which I’ll link to below.

There’s no way to do this inside of Webflow interactions you can of course do this with javascript and Webflow but I’m in a no code tool so let me do this inside the tool even Webflow’s own components such as the nav the mobile menu button is a div which can’t be focused on and therefore is completely unaccessible now they’ve updated it uh with area roles but I just don’t get what they have against buttons because even to this day you can’t add anything other than the submit button and I’ll say this is the distinct difference between a button and a link, a link is for navigation and a button is for interaction.

It really upsets me that we just assume that people using our website are completely abled users and we’re happy to completely disregard the 2.2 billion people who are described as blind or visually impaired it’s not a web I want to see take shape and I’m sorry to say that your 100 accessibility score on lighthouse is not going to know what your intents are with javascript and it is relying 100% on the html that you’ve chosen to use but you can interpret a website and html in so many different ways but on the 30th of april 2020 or at least that’s when I made a video about it Webflow announced that they would be hiring an accessibility expert in order to make Webflow more compliant with accessibility standards.

So I was hopeful that things would soon change but to be honest I can’t see a tremendous amount of updates that make the output html more accessible they’ve made the tool more accessible with hints as to how to make your design more accessible but anyone worth their weight insult is designing in a tool and is fully aware of accessibility standards not much seems to have happened outside of the interface and ultimately the interactions still don’t allow for changing html attributes and therefore area attributes.

And with all this being said this is why I moved on to pinegrow as our no code platform of choice I’ve actually built a new website in pinego which I’ll leave a link to to the beta version below if you want to check it out and leave us some feedback.

Pinegrow really is the next level in terms of no code platforms granted it doesn’t host or contain any cms you’re just generating html css and javascript files for you to kind of do what you want with but I think at the level they’re going for this sort of flexibility is kind of what you want the interaction interface is far more advanced than Webflow and it uses gsap under the hood which is kind of the gold standard when it comes to interactions and animations on the internet and above all g-stat and by proxy pine grow allow for html attribute changes which means your interactions can be accessible.

You’re able to create whatever elements you choose which sounds crazy and it has a list of pre-made components as well as the ability for you to create your own components ultimately this isn’t an advert for pine grove I just wanted to finally release a statement about my Webflow opinions and where I’ve kind of gone from there quite frankly it comes down to not wanting to support a platform that in a small way is encouraging the build of a less accessible web.

It’s totally possible of course to do everything I’ve raised as an issue in Webflow as a fairly flexible but for the level of websites we’re building and the flexibility we need Webflow just doesn’t cut the mustard is that the phrase?

And forced us to look elsewhere I’ll continue to support clients who choose to use Webflow and still to this day work on sites that are in Webflow and the content I create still tends to focus on the fundamentals so even though I’m using pinegrow to demonstrate them you should be able to take that learning into Webflow unless of course it’s a pinegrow tutorial.

So I hope this answers your question and I’ve articulated myself well enough if you like Webflow and it’s suitable for your needs then of course continue to do so but please be aware of 2.2 billion people and try to up your game when it comes to web accessibility and if you are charging 5 to 10k for a website built in Webflow just know that the design is only half the story and I’ll expect your accessibility game to be pretty good at that price point and so should your client.

I’m always here to help so if you do join my discord link below I’ll happily answer any of your questions so if you like this video please give it a thumbs up and I’ll see you in the next one and remember that if you were interested in pie and grow then they currently have 35% of all plans I think the basic version is free I’m not sure but if you’re making websites for a living then this will pay for itself in no time have fun and happy building the future of the web.