A content management system (CMS) can be the lifeblood of your business. But users often characterize the platforms as clunky, difficult to manage and, in general, just a pain to use.
San Francisco-based Webflow thinks it can change this. The company recently launched what it calls the “world’s first visual CMS.” The goal is to offer a content management system that doesn’t require any code or look like it was beaten with the ugly stick.
The platform could also serve as a new path for those who don’t have the time or resources to farm out web design to both designers and developers, who often must use different tools to finish the job.
It could also be appealing to users who like the ease and elegance of options such as Medium, which appears to be using custom proprietary software (not a CMS) to power its blog-publishing website.
An All-In-One Approach
Webflow is not yet as full featured as platforms like WordPress, but it has a different goal in mind.
The idea is to allow users to create sites with dynamic content, images and blog posts without the need to gather together a design and code team.
It promises a clean interface for those who want to design a web site on their own or as part of a small team. The company described it as well polished, and stresses that it doesn’t require the need to fuss with HTML, CSS or PHP.
Of course, there’s a myriad of other platforms that might trump Webflow when it comes to the number of features available.
According to the Webflow tutorials, you are somewhat limited in what you can do for now, though that could be just fine if you’re trying to set up a fairly straightforward company page, portfolio or another site that lends itself to a splashy design.
It’s rather quick to get a web page up and going as the tools are quite self-explanatory. However, in order for Webflow to catch on it will need a more robust feature set in comparison to the current crop of competitors.
Webflow isn’t the only company to try and throw some splashes of elegance and color in the web design space. Wordpress.com recently revamped its interface to give it more appeal, especially when compared to the popular blogging service Medium.
Additionally, Squarespace, Weebly and others target sole proprietors or small companies that want a web presence but don’t have the resources or budget to bring in an entire team.
The basic plan is free, but you’ll need to upgrade to a $16 monthly option for web hosting and unlimited code support.
There are also professional and team tiers at $35 and $70 with more robust feature sets that target larger company needs. Webflow also offers a number of tutorials if you’re interested to see what the new CMS is like.