Is Webflow Free for Designers in 2024?

Written by Peter Keszegh

In an era where digital presence is paramount, designers constantly look for tools that enhance creativity and offer flexibility without breaking the bank, such as creating a website.

Amidst this search, Webflow emerges as a beacon for many, establishing itself as a leading no-code web design platform that promises to revolutionize how websites are built. 

But, as with any tool that catches the eye and imagination of creative professionals, the question arises: Is Webflow free for designers in 2024?

Webflow, known for its visual website-building capabilities, allows designers to design, build, and launch websites through a user-friendly interface that requires no coding knowledge. 

This feature has catapulted Webflow to the forefront of web design tools, particularly appealing to freelancers and agencies looking to streamline their workflow and deliver top-notch web experiences.

webflow website builder

Webflow's free plan: what you get

Webflow stands out in the digital design space for its no-code capabilities and inclusivity. It offers a free plan that opens up possibilities for designers at all stages of their careers. 

This free tier, often seen as an entry point into Webflow, allows users to dip their toes into the platform without any initial financial commitment. However, it's essential to understand what this free plan entails and its limitations to maximize its benefits effectively.

The free plan provided by Webflow is crafted with the basics in mind. It includes access to Webflow's comprehensive suite of design tools, enabling users to create and publish websites directly on a Webflow-staged domain.

This feature makes it an invaluable asset for designers exploring the myriad of functionalities Webflow offers, from responsive design controls to complex interactions and animations.

However, the free plan does come with its limitations. One of the most notable restrictions is on hosted websites; users can only publish up to two projects on Webflow's staging environment. 

Upgrading to a paid plan is necessary for those looking to use a custom domain name or unlock Content Management System or CMS features. Additionally, the free tier limits the user's ability to export code, restricting the site's portability to other hosting environments.

Despite these constraints, the free plan does offer a wealth of functionalities. Designers can still leverage Webflow's visual development interface to create basic websites using pre-designed templates or starting from scratch. 

Access to learning resources such as Webflow University ensures that even those new to the platform can quickly get up to speed and start creating. The free starter plan suits designers, particularly those in the early stages of their careers or freelancers looking to build a portfolio. 

It provides a risk-free environment to showcase creativity and skill, allowing for creating fully functional, albeit basic, websites that can be used for portfolio pieces or client presentations. However, moving to a paid plan would benefit more complex projects or when a custom domain is required.

Paid plans: features and benefits

Webflow pricing plan caters to a broad spectrum of needs, from individual freelancers to large agencies. Each plan is meticulously designed to unlock new functionalities and resources, allowing designers to scale their projects more efficiently and creatively. 

Below, we'll explore the intricacies of Webflow's paid plans, focusing on the features and benefits particularly beneficial to designers.

Starter plan

Despite its name, the Starter plan serves as an entry-level paid option for those outgrowing the free tier but still needs to require the extensive features of higher plans. It offers:

  • Hosting for up to 10 projects

  • Custom domain integration

  • Basic CMS capabilities

Pricing: $14/month (billed annually) or $18/month (billed monthly)

Freelancer plan

Designed with freelancers in mind, this plan significantly ups the ante, providing a more robust toolkit for those managing multiple clients:

  • Unlimited project hosting

  • Enhanced CMS functionalities, supporting larger content-driven sites

  • Priority customer support

Pricing: $16 per seat/month (billed annually)

Agency plan

Tailored for agencies requiring collaborative tools and advanced features, this plan includes:

  • Team collaboration tools

  • Advanced global CDN for faster site loading times

  • White labeling options

Pricing: $35 per seat/month (billed annually)

Across all plans, designers benefit from increased website hosting capacity, the ability to use custom domain names, and access to Webflow's advanced CMS functionalities. 

These features are critical for professionals building sophisticated, highly customized websites that stand out in today’s competitive digital landscape.

For a quick comparison, here's a table summarizing the key features and pricing of each plan:

Plan

Projects

Custom Domains

CMS

Pricing (Annual Billing)

Starter

Up to 10

Yes

Basic

$14/month

Freelancer

Unlimited

Yes

Enhanced

$16 per seat/month

Agency

Unlimited

Yes

Advanced

$35 per seat/month

This breakdown showcases Webflow's offerings' scalability, ensuring a suitable plan whether you're just starting out or part of a bustling agency. The flexibility in pricing, especially with the annual billing options, allows for significant savings, making it easier for designers to access the tools they need within their budget.

women creating a website

Choosing the right Webflow plan: a designer's perspective 

Selecting the most suitable Webflow plan is a critical decision that can significantly impact a designer's workflow, project quality, and financial bottom line. 

From freelancers to large agencies, each designer has unique needs that dictate the ideal plan for their circumstances. Here are key considerations to help designers choose the most cost-effective Webflow plan:

Understanding project complexity

The complexity of your projects should be the primary factor in deciding which plan to choose. The Starter plan might suffice if you work on basic sites with few pages and limited functionality. 

However, consider plans with advanced CMS features for complex websites with extensive content management needs.

Number of websites

Another critical consideration is the number of websites you build and maintain through Webflow. Freelancers working on multiple client projects simultaneously will benefit from the Unlimited Projects feature available in the Freelancer and Agency plans, which provides the flexibility needed to manage a diverse portfolio.

Collaboration requirements

For designers who are part of a team or collaborate frequently with clients during the design process, the Agency plan offers collaborative tools that streamline feedback and revisions. These tools can significantly enhance productivity and project outcomes, making them a worthy investment for teams.

wordpress website

Content management needs

Evaluate the depth of your content management requirements. Sites that are heavily reliant on dynamic content, such as blogs, e-commerce platforms, or portfolios, will need the enhanced or advanced CMS functionalities offered by the Freelancer and Agency plans. 

These features provide greater control and customizability for managing and displaying content.

E-commerce capabilities

The business plan is the best choice for designers creating online stores or integrating e-commerce capabilities into their sites. It offers advanced e-commerce functionalities, including unlimited products, inventory management, and abandoned cart recovery tools.

Traffic expectations

Consider your expected website traffic and the corresponding bandwidth and storage needs. If you anticipate high traffic volumes or plan to host media-heavy content, opt for plans with higher bandwidth and storage capacities like the Business or Enterprise plans.

Additional features

Aside from the core features mentioned above, each Webflow plan also offers additional tools and functionalities that may benefit specific projects. For example, the Business plan includes access to third-party integrations and custom code, while the Enterprise plan offers dedicated support and advanced analytics. Be sure to thoroughly review all features available in each plan before deciding.

Additional costs

Be aware of potential additional costs, such as custom code integrations or third-party plugins, which can add up. While Webflow's core offerings cover many functionalities, specialized needs might necessitate extra investments. Factor these into your overall budget when choosing your plan.

Resources to assist in your decision

Fortunately, there are others in navigating these decisions. Webflow provides several resources to help:

  • Pricing Comparison Chart: Webflow’s website features a detailed comparison chart of all plans, making it easier to visualize the differences and similarities based on your specific needs.

  • Customer Support: For more personalized guidance, Webflow’s customer support team can provide insights and recommendations based on your individual situation and objectives.

  • Community Forum: Webflow's active community forum is a great place to ask questions and get feedback from other users who have experience with different plans.

  • Trial Period: Webflow offers a free 14-day trial period to allow you to test out the features and functionalities of your desired plan before committing.

hand holding dollars

Additional Webflow costs

While Webflow's core platform pricing is structured to cater to a wide range of needs, from individual designers to large agencies, users should be aware of additional costs associated with using Webflow. 

These costs can affect the overall budgeting and financial planning for projects, especially for those looking to maximize the platform's capabilities.

Custom website templates and design assets

Webflow's marketplace offers an extensive collection of custom website templates and design assets that can significantly speed up the design process and provide inspiration. These templates range in price, with some premium options designed to cater to specific industries or functionalities. 

Investing in these templates can be a cost-effective way to elevate design quality, but it's an additional expense that needs to be factored into the project budget.

Hiring Webflow experts

Hiring Webflow experts may be necessary for tasks that require specialized knowledge, such as complex integrations or advanced development work. 

Whether it's custom code to extend a site's functionality or integration of third-party services that Webflow doesn't natively support, these experts can provide valuable assistance. The cost of hiring professionals varies widely based on the task's complexity and the freelancer's or agency's expertise.

Ongoing costs

Beyond the initial design and development phase, there are ongoing costs associated with using Webflow that designers and agencies need to consider. 

This includes subscription fees for the chosen Webflow plan, which are recurring, and any costs related to domain registration and renewal if not already owned. Additionally, if using any paid plugins or integrations, their subscription fees also contribute to the ongoing costs.

Webflow users must budget for the platform's subscription fees and these additional expenses. 

Planning for the costs of custom templates, hiring experts for specialized tasks, and accounting for ongoing expenses ensures that projects remain financially viable and that designers can leverage Webflow's full potential without unexpected financial strain.

Free alternatives to Webflow: exploring options

While Webflow has established itself as a leading no-code website-building platform, offering a rich set of features tailored for professional designers, other options exist. 

Several free or freemium alternatives are in the market, each with its strengths and limitations. Understanding these can help designers and developers make an informed choice based on their needs, preferences, and budget constraints.

Wix

Wix stands out as a user-friendly platform that allows both beginners and professionals to create stunning websites without the need for coding.

  • Strengths: Wix is known for its user-friendly drag-and-drop interface, making it accessible to beginners. It offers a wide range of templates and extensive customization options without needing to touch code.

  • Limitations: Compared to Webflow, Wix may offer less control over precise design details and needs advanced animation capabilities. The platform also inserts ads in its free version, which may be better for something other than professional projects.

squarespace website builder

Squarespace

Squarespace is another robust platform that prioritizes design aesthetics while offering a comprehensive suite of tools for building visually appealing websites.

  • Strengths: Squarespace is celebrated for its sleek templates and intuitive design tools. It's particularly well-suited for creatives looking to build visually appealing websites without extensive design modifications.

  • Limitations: Squarespace's customization capabilities are more limited than Webflow's, especially for users who seek deep control over their site's design and functionality. It doesn't offer a free tier, but a trial period allows users to test its features.

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is a versatile platform that merges ease of use with flexibility, catering to users ranging from blog hobbyists to professional website developers.

  • Strengths: WordPress.com provides a powerful platform with extensive customization options through themes and plugins. Its content management capabilities exceed those of many competitors, making it ideal for content-rich websites.

  • Limitations: While there's a free tier, accessing the platform's full potential often requires purchasing premium themes or plugins. The learning curve can be steep for those unfamiliar with web development or WordPress's ecosystem.

Weebly

Weebly stands out as a user-friendly platform, offering a straightforward approach to website building for beginners and small businesses alike.

  • Strengths: Weebly is a simple, user-friendly platform with an intuitive drag-and-drop interface. It offers a range of templates and customization options, making it ideal for beginners or small businesses.

  • Limitations: Compared to other platforms like Webflow, there may be limitations on design control and advanced features. The free version also includes Weebly ads, which can be removed by upgrading to a paid plan.

Shopify

Shopify is renowned as a comprehensive e-commerce platform designed to help merchants build, manage, and scale their online stores easily.

  • Strengths: Shopify is a leading e-commerce platform providing users with comprehensive tools to create an online store. It offers robust sales features and excellent inventory management and has a vast app ecosystem for extending functionality.

  • Limitations: The platform's focus on e-commerce might be excessive for those looking for a simple website builder. Customizing functionalities beyond the standard templates often requires familiarity with Shopify's own coding language, Liquid.

Blogger

Blogger, Google's pioneering blogging platform, offers a straightforward way for individuals to publish their thoughts, stories, and insights online.

  • Strengths: Blogger, owned by Google, is a straightforward platform for personal and casual blogging. It offers free hosting and the simplicity of Google's ecosystem integration, including Google Analytics for tracking site performance.

  • Limitations: Compared to more modern or professional website builders, the design and customization options are significantly limited. It needs more versatility and features, which are required for complex or commercial websites, making it less suitable for those needs.

Factors to consider

When choosing between Webflow and free alternatives, several factors come into play:

  • Design Flexibility: If precision and extensive customization are key, Webflow offers superior control over the design process than more template-focused builders like Wix or Squarespace.

  • Learning Curve: Platforms like Wix and Squarespace might be more approachable for beginners, whereas Webflow and WordPress.com cater to users with intermediate to advanced design and development knowledge.

  • Community Support: Webflow boasts robust community and educational resources that are crucial for solving problems and learning advanced techniques. Evaluate if alternative platforms offer similar support levels.

  • Long-term Goals: Consider your website's purpose and future requirements. Platforms like Webflow and WordPress.com can scale with more complex needs, while others might be limited in functionality.

Frequently asked questions

This section explores some of the most commonly asked questions about choosing Webflow as your website builder.

What is Webflow?

Webflow is a sophisticated web design tool that combines a visual design interface with CMS and hosting capabilities. It allows designers to create professional, custom websites without coding.

Is Webflow free to use?

Webflow offers a free tier that lets you explore its core functionalities, but to unlock advanced features, such as custom domains and complete site export, you'll need to subscribe to a paid plan.

Can I migrate my existing website to Webflow?

Yes, you can migrate your existing website to Webflow. Still, the process involves manually moving content and redesigning your site using Webflow's tools, as no automatic migration tool is available.

Does Webflow require coding knowledge?

No, Webflow allows those without coding knowledge to design and launch websites. However, knowing HTML, CSS, and JavaScript can enhance your ability to create more customized designs.

How does Webflow compare to WordPress?

Webflow offers more control over the visual design directly within the platform, eliminating the need for external themes and plugins. Conversely, WordPress may require coding or additional plugins for similar customization levels but has a larger community and plugin ecosystem.

Can I use my own domain with Webflow?

Yes, you can connect your own domain to your Webflow site with any of their paid plans, which allows for a more professional web presence.

Is Webflow good for SEO?

Webflow is built with SEO in mind. It offers clean code and fast loading times, plus the ability to customize meta tags, alt text, and more, which can help improve your site’s search engine rankings.

Does Webflow offer e-commerce capabilities?

Yes, Webflow provides an e-commerce platform that allows you to design, manage, and grow your online store with the same level of design flexibility and control as their website builder.

Can I export my site from Webflow?

With certain plans, Webflow allows you to export your site's HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, giving you the option to host your site elsewhere or archive your design work.

What kind of support does Webflow offer?

Webflow offers email support, a comprehensive online knowledge base, and an active community forum where you can get help from both the Webflow team and experienced users. They also offer paid options for additional support and training. 

The takeaway

So, Is Webflow free? Exploring Webflow's pricing, we find a tiered system catering to various needs, from individual designers to large agencies. Notably, a free plan lets designers test Webflow's basic features without a financial commitment, serving as a starting point to get used to its design tools.

Designers should assess their needs and budgets when choosing between free and paid plans, considering project complexity, the number of websites, and specific needs like CMS and collaboration tools.

In summary, Webflow offers a flexible pricing model suitable for various projects. By understanding its pricing options, designers can use Webflow to realize their web design projects, balancing creativity with financial considerations.

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