Why I transitioned to Webflow
Before I explain my reasons for transitioning to Webflow, let me give you a little background info about myself.
I started using WordPress almost the same time as starting my career as a UX/UI designer- 5 years ago. Naturally, I needed an online portfolio to showcase my design work, so I did a little research on the options and I ended up choosing WordPress.
Fast forward to 2020, I am a skilled WordPress user but I'm also a much better designer 😋 So, now I don't just use a random template for my website I design my own website. And then I attempt to rebuilt it. So, in March 2020 (right when the COVID pandemic started) I needed to redesign my portfolio website (yet again).
I was really frustrated because the current theme didn't support all the options I wanted to have and it took forever to make changes. Also, I wanted to edit the design to make it more custom (I might have spend days building my hero section).
For the record, last time I had to change the design of my portfolio website, I hired a frontend developer to help me with the implementation.
This time, I didn't want to go through all this frustrating process of fighting with a page builder yet again, having my website load slow because my images were too big and so I searched for an alternative to WordPress... and I found Webflow! 🤘🏻 I mean let's be honest they were kinda hard not to notice by then.
What really persuaded me was:
- The fact that I can create a free account and test the possibilities without having to pay for anything
- The promise I will be able to build whatever I want fast and easy (meaning I will be able to create my portfolio page based on my own designs 1:1-hello pixel perfection 🙂)
- The SEO optimization possibilities (no plugins needed!)
- The in-depth tutorials on Webflow University
- The cool community
- All the freaking awesome designs I saw made by other people using Webflow 😍
How I transitioned to Webflow
After registering, I just opened the tool and started looking around. Immediately I understood I can't work with it unless I watch some tutorials, so this is what I did...
1. Watched tutorials before I started building anything
I started watching tutorials on Webflow University and also on YouTube. I watched and watched and tried to follow along and build the same stuff I watched in the tutorials. It took about 2-3 months for me to really understand the whole Box Model thing and why things need to be put into boxes that are put in other boxes which are part of a grid, which is part of a Section... by investing only 1 hour a day for tutorials. (honestly, I had only 1 hour in the evening to do this)
2. Designed and built a small page
Eventually, I decided I am ready to build my first website. So, I designed something simple in Sketch and then my goal was to re-build it into Webflow. I opened the tool and started building... It took probably 2-3 days to make one page but after a month working with it I felt a lot more confident. Also, I knew this is also helping my design knowledge, as I was also learning frontend development the visual way!
3. I built my own portfolio page and personal projects
Right after releasing that first page that I designed and "coded" by myself, it snowballed:
1. Designed my new portfolio website in Sketch and built it in Webflow. This also included transitioning from WordPress to Webflow. I copied all my blog posts and existing content and imported it into WF together with my new design. Launched Oct 2020
2. Re-designed and moved Lipstick and Pixels from WP to WF. Launched Sept 2020
3. Created a small landing page template Launched Dec 2020 You can see it right here
4. Started helping other people and designed my first Webflow website for a client 🙌🏻
5. As of today, I am in the process of building my very first Webflow template. Yay!
I recommend to anyone who wants to transition to Webflow and actually use the tool to first watch a few tutorials and learn the basics. Especially if you are not a developer and have no idea about frontend coding...It will take you 5 times longer to figure it out by yourself, so just do yourself a favor and don't.
It helps you if have a design before you start building stuff inside the tool. I don't believe you can build something directly in Webflow before you have the design for it. You may do some changes and move stuff around, maybe add another section...to an existing website. But starting from scratch without a guide to what you are building is like going on a trip with no map.
Practice, practice, practice. It will be hard in the beginning, but with practice it will become easier and at some point it will just "click" in your head.
I signed up for Webflow in March 2020 and build my first website in May 2020. Needless, to say the process of editing the existing design, adding new features and animations couldn't be any faster and easier. I am soo happy I made the switch! :)
Have you considering switching to Webflow and what is stopping you to do so?