Now, let's dive into each of these points and uncover how they can revolutionize your Webflow development process.
1. Embrace Webflow UI Libraries
Templates more often than not can prove to be more work than necessary. In most cases you think that a template will "speed up" your development process, save you money and make job easier for your designer, however this isn't always the case. There is a far better, free alternative to templates which is Webflow UI Libraries. UI Libraries provide pre-designed elements and components that you can simply drag-and-drop into your projects. What's great about UI libraries is that they provide you with a very clean HTML structure, organized CSS class-names structure & the ability to fully customize any element to your needs. Libraries are developed by agencies who are directly verified for quality by webflow. This is great because now, all of a sudden you can utilize a power of something numerous people worked on, and it's fully free.
How to find Webflow UI Libraries and how to use them ?
At the time of writing this post, the screen looks like this:
→ Click on the library you like, for example, I picked "Untitled UI Library"
→ Click on "Install Library"
→ After you've clicked on "Install Library", you should get this screen with your workspaces and websites. → Choose your workspace and then click on the website that you want to install a library in.
→ Voila, your webflow library is now installed.
2. Do In-Depth Research Before Choosing Templates
We previously mentioned that templates might not be the best choice for you, however if you still insist on choosing a template here is a checklist that you should follow when choosing a template for your new website.
Make sure that the template is built for the niche of your business.
Template responsiveness across all screens must work flawlessly.
Make sure that dimensions of your content fit the template dimensions.
Work with high-quality templates designed by people who follow best practices in UI.
Confirm that the template is built with SEO best practices in mind, such as clean code and proper heading structure.
Evaluate the template's navigation menus and overall user interface for ease of use.
Make sure that template has a balance between innovation and standardization.
Optional: Multiple page variations
If you're running an online store, confirm that the template supports e-commerce features, including product listings and checkout functionality.
Look for comprehensive documentation that explains how to set up and customize the template.
Demo content: Look for comprehensive documentation that explains how to set up and customize the template.
Budgeting: Evaluate the template's cost and compare it with your budget constraints.
You might really like the template on first sight, however it might turn out completely different after you integrate your own content. Use this checklist to make sure you choose a template that suits your needs and is of the highest quality.
3. Master Webflow CMS
For content-heavy websites, mastering Webflow's CMS is essential. It allows you to create dynamic content structures, manage data effortlessly, and save hours of manual updates. By harnessing the power of Webflow CMS, you can create websites that are easy to maintain and scale. In fact, some agencies leverage the power of Webflow CMS to create hundreds of landing pages and perform split testing. This level of scalability and flexibility enables businesses to experiment with different web designs, marketing strategies, and content variations to optimize user engagement and conversion rates.
4. Harness the Power of Keyboard Shortcuts: Speed Up Your Workflow
In the world of web development, time is of the essence, and efficiency is key. One of the most effective ways to supercharge your workflow in Webflow is by harnessing the power of keyboard shortcuts. These handy keystroke combinations can significantly accelerate your tasks, streamline your design process, and make you a more productive Webflow developer. Let's explore the benefits and some essential shortcuts you should know.
Here are some of the most common shortcuts I use when working on projects:
Ctrl (Cmd) + Z: Undo your last action. If you make a mistake or need to backtrack, this shortcut is your best friend.
Ctrl (Cmd) + Shift + Z: Redo your last undo action. Sometimes you change your mind again, and this shortcut helps you do just that.
Ctrl (Cmd) + C and Ctrl (Cmd) + V: Copy and paste elements. These shortcuts are handy for duplicating elements or transferring them between pages.
Ctrl (Cmd) + X: Cut an element. Use this when you want to move an element to a different location within the same page or to another page.
Ctrl (Cmd) + F: Find elements. This shortcut lets you quickly locate specific elements within your project, especially useful in complex designs.
Ctrl (Cmd) + Shift + L: Add a link block. This shortcut speeds up the process of adding interactive elements to your design.
Ctrl (Cmd) + E: Open the Navigator. The Navigator helps you navigate complex pages and hierarchies effortlessly.
Ctrl (Cmd) + Shift + P: Publish your project. When you're ready to share your work with the world, this shortcut expedites the publishing process.
By incorporating these keyboard shortcuts into your Webflow workflow, you'll find yourself working more efficiently, making fewer errors, and having greater control over your projects. Whether you're a Webflow novice or an experienced developer, mastering these shortcuts is a surefire way to accelerate your web design journey.
4. Efficiently Utilize Classes for Consistency
Creating and managing classes in Webflow is fundamental to maintaining consistency in your web design projects. Instead of adding a style to every single element over and over again you can do this: → Select an element (Let's use H1 as an example.) → Give it a desired style- → Change the class name to something you can easily remember. → Reuse the class throughout the project.
But what if I want to give unique styles to some of my elements? You can simply do this by adding a "combo-class" and then giving new styles to your elements.
Here are 5 dos and don'ts when using classes in webflow.
1. Do Use Descriptive Class Names:
Why: Descriptive class names make your style manager more understandable and maintainable. Instead of generic names like "box" or "text," use names like "feature-box" or "header-text" to convey the element's purpose.
2. Do Create Reusable Classes:
Why: Reusable classes save time and promote consistency. If you have similar design elements across your site, create a class that can be applied to all of them. This way, you only need to update one class to affect all instances.
3. Do Use Combo Classes Sparingly:
Why: Combo classes can be powerful but complex. Use them when you need to make specific adjustments to a base class, but avoid creating an excessive number of combos, as it can become challenging to manage and understand.
4. Do Keep an Organized Style Guide:
Why: A style guide helps you maintain consistency throughout your project. Document your color schemes, typography, and common class names. It serves as a reference for you and your team, ensuring everyone is on the same page.
5. Do Practice Naming Conventions:
Why: Consistent naming conventions make your classes more predictable. Decide on a naming structure (e.g., BEM, OOCSS) and stick to it. This simplifies collaboration and reduces errors.
1. Don't Use Unnecessary Classes:
Why: Adding classes to elements without a purpose can clutter your project and make it challenging to manage. Only assign classes when they serve a meaningful design or functional purpose.
2. Don't Inline Style Everything:
Why: While inline styles may seem convenient, they make it challenging to maintain consistency. They also override external styles, causing unexpected design changes. Reserve inline styles for exceptional cases.
3. Don't Create Overly Specific Classes:
Why: Overly specific classes can lead to inflexible designs. If your class name is too specific, you might need to create a new class for every minor variation, leading to code bloat. Find a balance between specificity and flexibility.
4. Don't Neglect Clean-Up:
Why: Over time, your project may accumulate unused or redundant classes. Regularly review and clean up your classes to keep your project organized and avoid confusion.
5. Don't Forget About Responsive Classes:
Why: Responsiveness is crucial in web design. Ensure that your classes and styles adapt gracefully to different screen sizes. Use Webflow's responsive features to make your design truly versatile.
By adhering to these dos and don'ts when using classes in Webflow, you'll create a more efficient and organized web design process. Consistency in class naming and usage not only simplifies your workflow but also enhances collaboration and helps you maintain a cohesive and visually appealing website.
6. Leverage Components & Properties
In the world of web design, efficiency is paramount, and Webflow provides powerful tools to help you achieve just that. Among these tools, leveraging components and properties stands out as a game-changer. Let's explore how using components and properties can streamline your Webflow design process and help you create stunning websites more efficiently.
Components and properties are very simple. Design once, use everywhere.
Components allow you to create reusable design elements. For instance, you can create a component for a navigation menu, a footer, or a call-to-action button. Once you've designed a component, you can use it across multiple pages in your project. Any changes made to the component will automatically update all instances, ensuring consistency throughout your website. When you need to make changes to a design element shared across multiple pages, components simplify the process. Instead of editing each instance individually, you make the update once within the component, and it cascades to all instances. This not only saves time but also reduces the risk of errors. Components are particularly valuable when working with a team. Designers and developers can collaborate seamlessly by using the same set of components, ensuring that the design remains consistent throughout the project's lifecycle.
Components also come with properties:
Webflow's properties allow you to fine-tune the styles of elements with precision. Whether you want to adjust the margin, padding, font size, or color, properties give you granular control over each element's appearance. This level of control ensures that your design aligns with your vision. Creating a property essentially allows you to make changes to one component instance without affecting others.
7. Maintain a Tidy Asset Manager
Organization is key to efficiency, and one often-overlooked area that can greatly impact your workflow is the Asset Manager. Keeping it neat and tidy is crucial for a smoother design process. Here's why:
Efficient Asset Retrieval: When your Asset Manager is well-organized, you can quickly find the images, fonts, and other assets you need. This saves time and reduces frustration during design.
Easier Collaboration: A tidy Asset Manager is especially valuable when working with a team. It ensures that everyone can easily locate and use the necessary assets, promoting collaboration and consistency.
Faster Updates: When you need to make changes to assets or replace them, an organized Asset Manager makes the process swift and precise.
Reduced Errors: Keeping your assets organized helps prevent mistakes, such as using the wrong image or font, which can compromise the quality and integrity of your design.
Incorporate asset management into your workflow, establish a naming convention, and periodically clean up unused assets. Doing so will enhance your Webflow experience and lead to more efficient and error-free web design.
8. Stay Updated with Webflow's Latest Features
In the ever-evolving landscape of web design and development, staying informed is a superpower. Webflow, as a dynamic platform, continually introduces new features and enhancements to empower its users. Very recently I went out and by the time I came back home, webflow launched a completely new look on their designer interface as well as dashboard looks too. Heck, the whole company did a full-on rebranding. Didn't expect this at all but I was quick to adapt to these changes.
This is exactly why keeping up with Webflow's latest features is essential:
Leverage New Tools: Webflow's updates often bring new tools and capabilities that can streamline your workflow and expand your design possibilities. By staying updated, you can take advantage of these tools to create even more impressive websites.
Enhanced Efficiency: New features can improve efficiency and productivity. Whether it's a shortcut, a design element, or a collaboration tool, each update can help you work smarter and faster.
9. Implement Performance Optimization Techniques:
Performance optimization is the secret sauce for a successful website. By implementing optimization techniques, you can significantly improve the speed and user experience of your site.
SEO Benefits: Search engines favor fast-loading sites, leading to higher search rankings and increased visibility.
Mobile-Friendly: Performance optimization ensures your site is mobile-friendly, catering to the growing mobile user base.
Enhanced User Experience: A snappy website provides a seamless and enjoyable user experience, encouraging visitors to stay and explore.
Lower Bounce Rates: Faster websites tend to have lower bounce rates, meaning more visitors stay and interact with your content.
Cost Efficiency: Optimized websites often require less server resources, saving you money on hosting.
Whether it's image optimization, code minification, or content caching, implementing performance optimization techniques is a surefire way to make your website lightning-fast and user-friendly.
10. Consider Hiring a Webflow Expert
If you are novice to webflow and web-design in general, doing all of this might seem a bit scary and intimidating. Tips I've given here can help you reduce development time and keep the high-quality crisp design on your website. However, what if you are overwhelmed with all of the tasks and you simply don't have time to develop a website? This is completely understandable, designing and developing a website can be a complex and time-consuming task. Without expert guidance. you may face challenges in achieving your desired design, functionality, and performance. I've seen this happen time and time again throughout my career.
This is why it might be a time to consider hiring a webflow expert. An expert can provide valuable insights, solve complex problems, and help you create a website that not only meets but exceeds your expectations. If you'd like to work with me, feel free to send me an e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org or book a 15 minute call with me directly through my website. Would be happy to help you with any questions you might have.