November 25, 2020
Recently I helped a major SaaS company move their marketing website from a custom .NET solution to a Webflow website. They're not the only ones who have moved to Webflow; Eventbrite, Dell, Upwork, HelloSign, and Lattice are some of the few major names who are seeing the value that it can provide.
So, what's happening here? Why are companies moving their websites to Webflow?
Most are moving from a custom coded solution they had built from scratch, but moving to Webflow isn't a step backwards from a coded solution, it's a step forward to faster design times, iterations, and publishing. A step forward to an empowered marketing team who can work on the marketing website, without having to hand it off to a developer. A step forward to a better, more manageable website.
Let me outline some of the biggest reasons why moving is a smart move for SaaS companies.
SaaS businesses know they need custom websites for their product. Drag and drop website builders won't cut it when your website has to perfectly fit your brand and not just feel like a cheap template.
That means that the only options that seem available to use is to build on top of Wordpress or custom code that is built from the ground up. The issue lies in the fact these options are expensive, time consuming, and problematic.
Building with Webflow makes the whole website development process faster and smarter. You can create better systems, quickly iterate new sections or layouts, and build new pages in a fraction of the time it takes with a custom code solution.
Your marketing website should be able to be managed fully within the marketing and design team without having to get the help of developers, or worse, having to hand off to developers.
When the process of updating your website has to go through developers, you slow down the system tenfold. It’s inevitable that there will be questions and confusions about how it should look when design gets translated into development.
Using Webflow means that marketing and design teams are able to design and build onto their website in a fraction of the time without having to hand off to developers. You can leave them to work on the product while you revise, test, and update your site, and all within the same team.
For this reason it can feel like moving the marketing website away from developers is more of a pipe dream than a reality. However, dreams can come true.
With Webflow, you don't need to know how to code to build fully custom websites. In-fact, you can do it all without having to write a single "<h1>". You don't have to settle with the limited drag and drop website builders. Instead you can use Webflow to build a site from the ground up, whilst still using a completely custom design.
Sometimes trying to translate design into development can be a headache, especially when the designs reflect more of an open canvas rather than how websites are actually built; using grids, columns, and alignment.
When you put the power in your designer's hands you don’t have to worry about the developers rolling their eyes when given a design, as your designer will get a better understanding of what can actually be developed by building it themselves.
This knowledge means they can build faster and smarter going forward as the translation from design to development is done by the same person with a vision of the end result.
Ever noticed a small bug on your website and wished you could just fix it yourself? When working off of a custom code solution you have to push through changes you want to make to developers; ones who might not have the marketing website at the top of their priority list.
Instead of waiting days or weeks to get a small update through, Webflow allows designers to do it themselves within a matter of minutes
In the same way, deploying any changes, big fixes, new page builds, or A/B tests can be streamlined and up and running in a fraction of the time that it would take compared to giving it to a developer to build. And when you're saving this much time on maintaining the marketing website, you have more time to focus on conversion and acquiring more happy customers.
When you scale any product or websites, it can get harder and harder to maintain a consistent feel throughout as you constantly add on new classes and styles for new pages and screens. However, because of this it can be advantageous to manage your design systems in a place that you can come back to regularly to maintain and update.
If you already have a design system set up in Figma for creating new pages, you've already won half the battle. Yet this same design system can be reflected across your website by building a design system page for all commonly used styles and components.
Doing this is an easy way to keep a maintainable website system that won't grow out of its limits and also means that building new pages will get faster and faster as you reuse pre-build sections and components.
Webflow is not just a stepping stone for organizations that are growing, it's the last stop on the road to finding the perfect custom website platform that can grow with the company.
If moving a whole website over seems like a giant first step, then you can start smaller. A better way to start without getting overwhelmed is to build just one new page in a Webflow project and use a reverse proxy to serve the page onto your root domain.
By doing this you can see the value in time and headaches saved, while still emulating the same exact look of a custom code solution. Once you have that ball rolling, it's much easier to keep building new pages in Webflow until you eventually have your whole website moved over.
So make the move just like other great SaaS companies are, and see the difference that it will make in your team's process.
A website shouldn't be an expense to your business, it should be an investment.
It's more important than ever to think about you can stand out amongst all the digital noise.
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