New Year, New Tool, New Site

10/3/2019

New Year, New Tool, New Site

I have not updated my portfolio site since 2016 and thought it is a good opportunity to try out a new tool and re-design the site in 2019. My portfolio site was built on Jekyll and I have decided to build with a platform called Webflow this time.

What is Webflow?

Webflow is a full-featured website builder whose mission is to “empower designers, creative professionals, and entrepreneurs to create for the web.

It seems Webflow attempts to fill the space between DIY site builders like Squarespace, Wix, traditional content management system like WordPress, and actual front-end web development.

I found that Webflow is an all-in-one web design tool that allows creative professionals to design, build and launch responsive websites visually, that also produces clean and semantic front-end codes.

Here are some features that I found really useful:

Designer and Editor

The Webflow Designer is a Sketch-like user interface that allows users to design the layout and content without writing code. The Designer creates clean, semantic HTML and CSS code that is ready to publish to the web.

Its interactions and animations tools also bring all the power of CSS3 and JavaScript into a completely visual interface that empowers users to build complex, rich animations without worrying about writing code.

I have to admit that the Designer interface is fairly complex - especially for those without any prior knowledge of web development, it will be a steep learning curve.

Content Management System (CMS)

While using CMS like WordPress, users are often locked into their theme’s default templates, styles and content structure, needed to install third-party plugins or manually rewriting the configuration/template files.

On the other side, Webflow CMS allows users to define the content structure and style of their dynamic content through its visual interface, without messing with plugins, PHP or database.

Web 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.

Some other features come with their hosting are:

  • Free SSL certificates, HTTP/2 compliance
  • Automatic backups and version control
  • Site-wide and per-page password protection
  • Simple publishing workflows
  • Responsive images
  • Protection against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks

Overall, I really enjoy designing and building my portfolio site and looking forward to trying their new e-commerce feature which was released in February 2019.