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May 7, 2024

11 steps to becoming a (true) Webflow Expert

How To
by Rajat Kapoor
Rajat Kapoor

Webflow has become too powerful. Anyone with a little understanding of the tool can build a website. But as empowering as it is, it’s also a problem. Anyone with a basic grasp of the tool can get Webflow certificates and call themselves a ‘Webflow Expert’.

While ‘fake it till you make it’ can be a good idea for the new devs, it often results in a disaster for the clients. The websites built for clients with half knowledge result in something on the verge of breaking any moment.

So, how can one become a true Webflow expert — Not just in name but in skill too?

We asked ourselves this question to determine the best path to true mastery over Webflow. A path that both new and existing Webflow developers can take to ensure that they become experts.

In this blog, we’ll take you through 11 steps that will help you go from beginner to expert with a systematic approach.

11 steps to becoming a (true) Webflow Expert

While no two people have the same journey, having a predictable roadmap can help you progress faster and always be on track. Here’s how you can work towards becoming a Webflow expert - the right way.

Step 1: Start with the basics

You might be tempted to start straight with Webflow, but learn the fundamentals of HTML, CSS & Javascript first.

Even on a no-code visual builder like Webflow, every element you drag and drop translates to Webflow generating HTML, CSS, and JavaScript in the background for you.

Knowing what happens ‘under the hood’ will give you a far better understanding and control over the tool itself. Once you understand how your choices translate to code, you’ll be able to make better decisions and build a site that not just looks great on the surface, but also has clean code on the backend.

Websites like W3schools, learn HTML CSS, and Codecademy have great resources to help you get started.

Step 2: Learn by copying

Once you have the fundamentals cleared, understanding Webflow will become much easier. Webflow University is a great place to start, but don’t limit yourself to just learning from courses.

Here’s a more practical approach to learning Webflow -

  • Learn the basics of Webflow and how to navigate around it. (use Webflow University for this)
  • Try to clone and rebuild your favourite company websites. Start small and gradually increase the difficulty. (Find websites to clone here.)
  • Once you’ve cloned and rebuilt a couple of websites, you’ll start to understand how websites for the real world are structured.

Like with any skill, practice is key here. The more you build, the better you’ll get at solving problems and building complex stuff.

Step 3: Build a portfolio

Even if you're just starting with Webflow and don't have any client work to showcase, you can still create an impressive portfolio.

Here’s how you can approach your portfolio as a beginner:

  • Start with Personal Projects: Don’t wait for client projects. Create your website designs or use the redesigns of your favourite sites that you built in step 2. These projects would showcase your skill level.
  • Include Coursework: If you’ve completed any Webflow University projects or similar coursework, add these as well. Explain the project briefs and your solution.
  • Focus on Quality, Not Quantity: Choose your strongest projects that showcase a variety of skills. It's better to have a few well-executed projects than many mediocre ones.
  • Optimize for Performance: Make sure your portfolio site is fast, responsive, and accessible. This would show your attention to detail and technical skills

Pro Tip: Keep your portfolio up-to-date as you complete new projects. This will not only ensure that you always have the best sites on your portfolio but will also keep it fresh for returning visitors.

Step 4: Use a framework

Every good developer follows some framework to build their projects. The reason is that it makes your projects easy to maintain and scale. Frameworks provide a structured approach to website development and ensure consistency across different projects and among various developers.

Benefits of Using a Framework in Webflow:

  • Consistency Across Projects: Frameworks will help standardize your website's structure, layout, and coding standards. This makes it easier for you and others to understand and manage the project, regardless of its complexity or scale.
  • Efficiency and Speed: With a framework, you can reuse components and layouts across multiple projects, significantly speeding up the development process. This reuse also reduces the chance of errors.
  • Ease of Maintenance: Frameworks organize code in a way that makes it easier to update and debug. If a problem arises, you can address it in one place rather than having to make widespread changes, which is particularly useful as websites scale.
  • Scalability: As your project grows, a framework makes it easier to scale your website without overhauling its foundational structure. This is crucial for projects that might start small but are intended to grow significantly over time.

Choose a framework that you prefer(we suggest Saddle), and spend some time learning it. Implement it consistently on all your projects. Once you get familiar with the framework, you’ll see your efficiency shooting up, and websites becoming easier to manage and scale.

Step 5: Learn optimizations

As important as it is for a website to look good and have a clean structure, it’s also crucial that it loads fast and performs well across all devices.

To make sure your website performs as good as it looks, learn how website optimizations work. From optimizing images to fonts and even third-party scripts, there’s a lot that you can do to make this happen.

You can learn how to optimize your site for speed and performance here.

Step 6: Leverage custom code

Custom code is Webflow’s most powerful feature. If you’re limited to the native functionality only, you’ll hit roadblocks fast. Here’s how you can get past this and start using custom code more often -

  • Get familiar with the basics of JavaScript and CSS: To be able to use custom code and get past Webflow’s limit, start by learning how you can manipulate CSS and Javascript to solve your problems. It could be as simple as adding hover animations or border gradients through custom code.
  • Follow tutorials and try recreating them: YouTube has some very interesting tutorials showing innovative solutions to surpass native Webflow’s limit. Learn through them and recreate animations and functionalities to get more hands-on experience in using custom code.
  • Practice problem-solving: As you get more comfortable with using custom code, try solving more complex problems like integrating third-party APIs or building complex animations.

Step 7: Follow the leaders in the space

Learning from the best will help you accelerate your journey to becoming an expert.

  • Find the people who inspire you and whose work you look up to.
  • Follow them on social media, and engage with their content
  • Participate in webinars and workshops that help you learn directly from them.
  • Lastly, don’t just consume content, apply your learnings to your next projects and you’ll notice your work is improving drastically over time.

Step 8: Understand the business relevance of websites

You can only make great solutions for your clients if you understand the root of the problem. In the case of Webflow Developer, this translates to what relevance a website holds for your clients. For a construction company, a website might just be a way to have some digital presence, but for an e-commerce company, it might be their sole way of getting clients.

Understanding what your clients need from their websites will help you build the right solutions for them. It’ll also make you a better developer.

Step 9: Learn skills that pair well with Webflow

Building a website is never just a one-skill job. There are many accompanying skills and tools that you can learn around Webflow to make yourself indispensable. And as a bonus, you can also offer these skills as services to your clients.

Here are some skills you can pick alongside Webflow to get closer to your goal:

  • Web design: If you are developing websites for a living, it makes sense to learn more about how they are designed and the thought process that goes behind making a website. There are many good resources for learning web design. Webflow’s blog is a good place to start for Webflow developers.
  • Website Analytics: Understanding how users interact with your website can help you make better decisions when building websites. Learning tools like Google Analytics will help you understand user behaviour, track conversions, and optimise your websites for better performance.
  • SEO: SEO is another important skill that ensures the websites you build are visible to potential users and rank well on Google. Learning the basics of SEO will help you build an SEO-friendly website, and what client doesn’t want that.
  • Copywriting: The content that goes on the website is as important as the design itself. If you can learn to write compelling copy for websites, you’ll be able to improve user experience by a great deal. Learning copywriting along with Webflow and the other three skills will make you a full-service developer, and they are pretty rare to find.

Step 10: Stay up-to-date with Webflow

Webflow as a tool will keep evolving. And if you truly wish to become an expert, you must stay current with all the updates and new features that come on Webflow.

Here’s what you can do to make sure you are always up to date -

  • Regularly check Webflow’s official blogs.
  • Join the Webflow community and participate in community events on YouTube (and even offline if you can).
  • Try out the new features as they are released to see where you can fit them into your workflow.

Step 11: Always keep learning

True expertise comes from consistently practising and improving your skills. Keep improving your skills, not just in Webflow, but also in CSS and Javascript. Build fun projects, push past your limits, and maintain a growth mindset. This along with the other steps will put you on the path of becoming a true Webflow expert.

Final Takeaways

Being a true Webflow expert means that you are a web development expert and use Webflow. It’s not just about mastering one tool, but a combination of Webflow skills, a deep understanding of web technologies, and a problem-solving mindset. Once you start living by this thought process, you can proudly call yourself a true webflow expert.


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