I came across the Webflow CMS on Ars Technica today and I was really interested in what they were doing. As someone who occasionally fiddles with CSS and websites, the amount of programs and tools I have to help me do this is quite large. This CMS seems to combine all of these tools into one, and all on your live site too.
With the Webflow CMS you can create your content and edit it on your live site as you can with other CMSes but you can also edit the design of your site – as they say in the preview video: anything you see you can edit. You can change the appearance of one or all elements, set up templates and edit those, and see all your changes as you make them in your browser without any extra tools. As Cassandra Khaw from Ars Technica wrote:
Webflow CMS is a barebones WordPress installation jammed into a Photoshop-like interface.
The interface is what impressed me with this (as well as the ability to edit anything on your screen). It has a lot to show, but doesn’t look cluttered. Things such as margins and padding which might confuse new users are explained with a diagram that allows you to click and drag on it to adjust these values. All other options have clear icons that help you to work out what that option is for if you are not familiar with it.
I’ve seen one attempt at this kind of thing previously (though my knowledge in this sphere is lacking, so I’m sure there are others available) and that is Wix. My friend has a site on there and she was getting my advice on what to change so I saw some of the features it had. Wix lets you customise your content and template, add news pages, images etc., but it seemed clunky and not very user friendly (most options were in the top-left corner). In comparison, Webflow seems more streamlined with a really nice looking interface. It also appears to have more features.
It looks like – as with Wix – that you have to pay for access to more features, but this isn’t surprising given how flexible it is and that your content is also hosted for you.
You can see their preview video below, and their website is webflow.com.
Edit: If you’re interested in other types of website building service, Cloudwards have put together a list of their top 8 website builders.