Top Webflow Features We Need in 2021
Opinion
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01.08.2021
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BY SENSIMAL

Webflow is constantly working on new features to enhance the user experience both for developers and for clients. Some of the latest, most impressive features include the ability to nest symbols within symbols. There are also digital downloads for e-commerce sites, so shop owners and creators can now sell their products on Webflow without having to use separate services like Gumroad or Shopify. As Webflow grows in popularity, more Internetizens are switching to Webflow from different platforms or simply building their website from scratch on Webflow. With more popularity comes the responsibility of constantly updating and upgrading features. Webflow has had a wish list since the very beginning. Items on the list are crowdsourced by Webflow users. Here are some Webflow features that will greatly improve the platform and attract more developers and clients to the service.

Custom Breakpoints

The ability to tweak a Webflow site on a custom breakpoint is a frequently requested Webflow feature that makes a big difference to us Webflow Designers and Developers. Unfortunately, Webflow doesn't have a breakpoint for large and mid-sized iPads (1024 px and 834 px, respectively), which is a big flaw. The layout for 1024 px (large iPads such as iPad Pro 12 inch) inherits design from the mid-point breakpoint. Unfortunately, I’ve had many experiences of going into Google Chrome Inspect or Browserstack only to discover that the design kept breaking on iPad devices that were not at 768 px breakpoint. I resolved the issues each time by writing custom CSS code, which is a far from ideal solution when using Webflow.

Import CSS Files

If having custom breakpoints is not feasible, it would be great to link external CSS files either to pages or to the entire Webflow site.

Versioning

How many times have you and fellow Webflow creators found yourselves in the following situation? A Webflow site is already up and running, but the client needs you to work on various changes requiring different levels of complexity. Let's just say, one of the new updates requires more time for exploration and subsequent implementation—chances are you don't want to publish the website for a while. Now and then, while these changes are in progress, the client asks for some super small text changes to be deployed on the live site. Although this doesn’t happen all the time, it does happen more and more often and ends up becoming quite stressful for Webflow creators torn between deploying the small change and waiting until the larger changes are complete. And don't forget, there’s the risk of Google indexing the page in progress before it’s even finished. Worse still, if the website receives high traffic, users could easily discover the half-baked page that was published along with the one small change. 

There is also another scenario for Webflow designers and developers working with agencies. Most of the time, account strategists are the intermediaries that talk to the clients about the goals and needs of their websites. Once the account strategist gathers the requirements, they talk to the freelancer to execute the vision on Webflow. Versioning would make the handoff process for any changes convenient. The Webflow freelancer would complete the work, mark the changes for deployment to the live site, and the account strategist could review the work before eventually publishing the site. Right now, however, this process is very much broken because there is no versioning in place. You could bring up backups as an alternative, but using backups is unfortunately the ideal solution.

Component Marketplace

A component marketplace would be great for discovering plugins, useful layouts, and even cloneables. Right now, there is the Webflow Showcase for discovering interactions, new websites (both cloneable and non-cloneable), and miscellaneous inspirations. Actually, Showcase is very limited when it comes to filtering that someone else created a filterable version to search for components, UI kits, and so on. If Webflow can follow a similar model for a marketplace as seen on Bubble or Framer, creators can also drag and drop layouts, components, and custom code into their projects with ease.

Granular Permissions

There are times when multiple people are working on a Webflow project simultaneously, and not every one of them should necessarily be allowed to view all parts of all projects. For example, since Webflow has an excellent content management system (CMS), digital marketers frequently go into the CMS to create and edit blog posts. A developer could be working on the front-end, building out new pages and a designer reviewing the layouts at multiple breakpoints to ensure pixel-perfect implementation. If the developer is not an in-house Webflow expert but a contractor, there are times when clients might want to make certain pages accessible only to their employees. They can easily do this by setting up a password for those pages. However, if many pages or sections need to be hidden from multiple contractors, setting up passwords can easily become time consuming. A dedicated page to assign permissions to each contractor and employee could be very helpful when multiple parties are maintaining a website, all for different purposes.

Multiselect Elements in Navigator

Although this feature may seem fairly unremarkable, it will make a huge difference given that there is no way to select more than one element. It would save Webflow creators a lot of time if we could simply multi-select elements in navigator (also on the front-end directly) and then apply stylistic changes.

Improve Form Design Elements

Although Webflow offers native components for dropdowns, checkboxes, radioboxes etc. these components are not easy to customize. For example, you cannot even update the icon for the carat inside a selector component. I have personally encountered this many times working on professional and side projects. One of the selling points of Webflow is to be able to implement any custom design. If Webflow updated their native form components in accordance with their message it would help us all creators.

CMS Filters

Unless you know how to incorporate external JS libraries or use Jetboost (paid-for websites hosted on domains), it is frustrating to dynamically filter CMS elements. For example, if you have a blog page with five different categories, and you want users to only view the posts under Category X, you can't simply select a radio box and the posts on the page refresh.

Schedule / Booking

There are many clients that require users to select a time for their appointment/service. However, Webflow doesn't have a native calendar element with a picker that dynamically filters times and locations for a service. Therefore, many users resort to using integrations like AcuityScheduling or similar external services for booking appointments, and so on.

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