20 February 2023 (updated: 20 February 2023) by
Michał Mazur Michał Mazur
There's no recession for the low-code and no-code tools out there. Webflow, which is one of them, offers vast adjustability of a custom-built solution, while still being an affordable option. See why you should check out Webflow if you're building a website for your startup.
With the ever-surging demand for front-end development, organizations find themselves paying premium for marketing websites. The no-code stack offers new opportunities to optimize cost and flexibility. With Webflow and Bubble leading the way, there are tens of new no-code and low-code tools launching on Product Hunt every week.
Startups need websites and have been spending a lot of time and effort on custom code for simple websites
Pretty much every startup needs a marketing site to tell the world about themselves. While for high-profile, heavily-funded companies this will be a marginal cost (probably generated via a large marketing agency), for the bootstrapped ones it may consume a sizable portion of the whole marketing budget. Custom-coded websites, even when based on simple Wordpress templates can cost tens of thousands of euros.
For a software startup, a marketing website typically attracts 3 types of users:
Clients / software users
Business partners and job candidates
While all groups require precise information and a convincing brand story, the first two of them need something more - they need a hook. Quite often it would be product features, a cool founder story or solid KPIs. But let’s be honest - there are so many digital products being launched every week. In order to differentiate in a split second, you will need some pizzazz.
Pizzazz costs time and money, especially if you outsource your front-end development to a freelancer. Custom-coding responsive, animated and CMS-driven websites may take weeks or even months. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, 20% of all new businesses don’t even survive the first year since opening. Young, small companies grow and iterate quickly and their online communication needs to follow.
Startups need flexibility, both workflow- and cost-wise
True agility in a small, young company is always connected with overhead. Bootstrapped businesses quite often don’t have the luxury of full pivots and throwing away features or content implemented 2 sprints ago, especially if it was outsourced. Plus, content changes is something typically managed by internal (or external) marketing teams, who don’t necessarily have coding experience. When you consider the marketing site + a blog + occasional landing pages, it is a lot of work even to use Wordpress, which requires many plugins and updates to work efficiently.
The promise of custom front-end code has always been revolving around the simplicity of code, full control and security. All that was true, before Webflow came along. Over the last few years we can see many high-profile startups, such as Lattice, moving their entire marketing web operations to this all-in-one solution.
You can build a working digital product without code
Of course any tool, Webflow too, comes with a learning curve to it, however once you pass the threshold, its ease of use keeps users for a long time. And after that time, no one I know wants to come back to Wordpress.
Why have we decided to work in Webflow?
At EL Passion, we started using Webflow for website development at the end of 2020. Before the first project we used our internal development resources to conduct rigorous testing and analysis of the tool. Before going to market, we wanted to ensure we can build lightweight, clean-code, accessible websites for our clients. We ran comparisons with Wordpress and it turned out that Webflow sites can achieve higher ratings in Chrome’s Lighthouse reports, especially when looking at performance and SEO (which comes as a surprise to many marketers).
Every business expresses their brand in their own way. I, as a designer, need to understand and support it. A couple of years ago I often struggled with situations where my clients envisioned complex grid-based and animated sections in their websites. It always came down to two favorite subjects of every web professional - budget and deadlines. Now, with Webflow designers around the globe are pushing boundaries on expressive visuals and mouse- or scroll-based animations. Creating an innovative layout takes days in Webflow, not weeks.
A powerful CMS
If you ever worked with Wordpress, you may remember the need to custom-develop custom blog post types in order to create lists of elements such as portfolio projects, team members or services. They all would in the end be blog posts, because, well, Wordpress is a blogging platform first and foremost.
Every time I show our clients Webflow’s direct page manipulation and custom CMS collections in its out-of-the-box CMS, I hear a version of “wow, if only I had it on our previous website!”. Whether you need to create a complex database of products, articles or team members, it takes only a couple of clicks (exaggerating here, of course).
Pushing no-code further
Using Webflow for websites seems like a no-brainer in 2023. Even though the tool is not there yet out of the box, companies around the world such as Shift build complex web applications on top of Webflow’s powerful front-end capabilities. Either through custom code or external applications, such as Zapier, Make and Airtable, it really is possible to build a whole digital business without writing a single line of code.