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What is Webflow?

Everyone wants the easier things in life. At this day and age, everything seems to go digital. There’s a lot of hype around the no code movement — a wave of technologies that allows people to build software without code. But code is at the internet’s core and is of extreme importance. It’s not about the absence of using it to build websites and apps. This movement is actually focused on making it easier and faster to code — by making it visual. Meaning, you just design and platforms like Webflow to write the code for you.

What is Webflow?

Launched in 2013 as a graduate of Y Combinator’s startup accelerator, Webflow is a drag-and-drop tool for creating responsive websites without the use of a code.

It attempts to fill the space between DIY software like Wix and Squarespace, traditional content management systems like WordPress.

It is expected to actually surpass them all in terms of ease to use, flexibility, and performance which they have high regard for.

Webflow keeps its interface very close to how the web actually works. Furthermore, it is very user friendly and great for beginners. There is no dragging to position like in Wix. 

In fact, it’s almost like writing code, but by clicking buttons and moving sliders instead of writing out the lines.

Here are key features of Webflow:

Designing and Editing

A visual web design tool molded to translate your design decisions into clean, production-ready HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Programmers have built this in terms of familiarity and easier access. 

But to experience the full power of Webflow, you’ll want to combine the Designer with the CMS and our Hosting.

The Webflow Designer is a Photoshop-like interface that allows users to automatically generate semantic markup by dragging and dropping HTML elements onto a canvas.

The Designer interface is admittedly complex especially for those without any prior knowledge of basic development. But overcoming this initial learning curve will be hugely rewarding.

Webflow CMS

Webflow CMS bills itself as “the world’s first visual content management system,” allowing designers to define the structure and style of their dynamic content without messing with plugins, PHP, or databases.

This content can be hand-created, imported from a .CSV file, or added through Webflow’s CMS API.

Users can then create Collections, or reusable templates for dynamic content types.

It’s like having all of the upsides of using a database — without actually having to manage a database yourself!

Ecommerce

Ecommerce was released as public beta in November of last year.

Distancing itself from such comparatively restrictive platforms as Shopify and WooCommerce, Webflow Ecommerce allows for full customization over all visual components of a typical online store.

This includes product pages, galleries and category pages, shopping carts, and checkout pages. With Webflow, you’re not limited to any sort of pre-designed Ecommerce structure!

Webflow Ecommerce lets you take the power of the Designer and CMS to create a fully custom ecommerce experience. Any Webflow project can be converted into an ecommerce site, but the hosting price differs slightly from a regular website.

You can connect your ecommerce website with payment gateways like Apple Pay, Paypal, or Google Pay, while also extending your stores capabilities with various integrations.

Hosting

Webflow hosting is provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud computing platform and facilitated by a global content distribution network (CDN) powered by Fastly and Amazon Cloudfront.

The result is lightning-fast page loads and the peace of mind that comes along with never having to worry about server maintenance or updating PHP.


How to operate with Webflow:

Webflow keeps its interface very close to how the web actually works. There is no dragging to position like in Wix. You need to understand and use the box model, flexbox, CSS grids and other front-end development concepts.

In fact, it’s almost like writing code, but by clicking buttons and moving sliders instead of writing out the lines.

You can give elements names with actual meanings (AKA semantic classes). This one is ‘banner’, this one is ‘newsletter-form’. Unlike other builders where you constantly deal with lots of randomly named divs.

This means you have a lot of control over the code that is eventually generated and you can choose the best strategy to achieve a certain layout.

Well-designed websites offer much more than just visuals and aesthetics. They attract visitors and help people understand the product, company, and branding through a variety of indicators, encompassing visuals, text, and interactions. That means every fundamental part of your site needs to work towards a clear goal.

But how do you achieve that harmonious combination of elements? Through a holistic web design process that takes both form and function into account.

Designing a website requires 7 steps specifically:

  • Goal identification: Determining what goals the new website needs to fulfill. For example, what the purpose for creating a website is.
  • Scope definition: Once you know the site’s goals, you can define the scope of the project. For example, what web pages and features the site requires to achieve the goal, and the timeline for building those out.
  • Sitemap and wireframe creation: With the scope well-determined, you can start getting into the sitemap, defining how the content and features you established in scope definition will correlate with each other.
  • Content creation: You can start creating content for the individual pages, always keeping search engine optimization in mind to help keep pages focused on a single topic. It is essential that you have real content to work with for the next step in this process.
  • Visual elements: With the site content in place, you can start working on the visual brand. 
  • Testing: By now, you’ve got all your pages defined by how they display to the site visitor, so it’s time to make sure every single thing works. This is the most vital step. Combine manual browsing of the site on a variety of devices with automated site bugs to identify everything from user experience issues to simple broken links.
  • Launch: Once everything’s working without a hitch, it’s time to execute your site launch! 

Reasons why you should use Webflow:

  1. Webflow lets you work with code visually, in a familiar UI – Most designers have a harder time with that. Even when they know enough code to be threatening.

Thankfully, Webflow does the translation work for you. You just drag our cleanly coded, fully responsive HTML elements on to the canvas, drop them where you want them, and style them using familiar visual tools. So instead of writing a few lines of code, saving, and refreshing your browser, you get instant, visual feedback, so you can work that much faster.

  1. Prototypes > mockups – It’s time to consider a new workflow.

Producing pixel-perfect static mockups for a variety of screen sizes, dimensions, and orientations eats up tons of time. And clients often have a tough time imagining those static mockups becoming live, dynamic websites. Especially when it comes to interactions.

With Webflow, you can do all that. And so much more.

  1. Webflow makes responsive design 10x easier – Now, imagine finishing out your desktop design, then clicking a single button to reveal an already-complete reflow of your design for the tablet. And the smartphone landscape. And smartphone portraits.

And imagine knowing that you weren’t stuck with those reflows. That you could tweak those device-specific designs to highlight different content for smartphone users.

  1. Webflow makes it way easier to illustrate your interaction ideas – Chances are, you’ve had some brilliant interaction and animation ideas in your design career. And that you’ve tried to capture how they’d look and feel by switching Photoshop layers on and off, making videos or GIFs, or even trying to bend Keynote to your will. With Webflow, you can leave those days behind. Build your interactions and animations using the same tool you use for the rest of your web design work — without coding, making GIFs, or explaining your vision to a developer.
  2. Webflow CMS lets you design hundreds of pages at once – If you’ve ever designed for a CMS, you know you only have to create 1 design for your blog posts.

With webflow, this is extremely possible.

  1. Webflow’s Designer and CMS update automatically – Webflow is constantly working on bug fixes, UX refinements, new features, and other improvements. And you don’t have to do a thing to benefit.

Do you want to learn webflow in Arabic?


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