10 tips for efficient webflow development


    Nothing has been more delightful than using Webflow to quickly prototype, design, and build websites, all from within your browser. Although there are hundreds of alternatives, each with its own tradeoffs, none compare in terms of ease of use and breadth of features.

    With the addition of e-commerce functionality recently, Webflow has come squarely into competition with the likes of Squarespace. Whether you’re a designer or a developer, Webflow enables everyone, with a minimal learning curve, to create incredibly professional websites. Webflow really is paving the way when it comes to no-code visual editors.

    Webflow has you covered with more granular control over every facet of your website. You can even use modern CSS flex grid styles to make your website accessible across different devices and browsers. The Webflow platform consists of a rich content management system (CMS), user management, and e-commerce features.

    Follow along for some tips on how you can develop a Webflow website more efficiently.

    What is Webflow?

    Webflow is an all-in-one no-code visual responsive website design platform that you access from your browser. The Webflow website builder allows you to go from ideation and design to development and deployment while offering CMS and e-commerce features to power your creations.

    What makes Webflow stand out from the rest is that you are building the underlying HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code in real-time as you design. There are no plugins, extensions, add-ons, packages, or libraries to maintain. Everything you could need to design and build your next website is easily accessible from the Webflow dashboard.


    Is there anything better than Webflow?

    Webflow provides designers with the tools to not only fine-tune their designs but also power them with real data and mobile-friendly web technologies. The Webflow platform empowers front-end developers to produce consistent functionality quickly and collaborate with designers more easily.

    If designing is not something that interests you, there are countless reasonably priced templates available on the marketplace. You can even redeem templates purchased from Themeforest directly in Webflow.

    Simply navigate to Workspace Settings > Templates > ThemeForest Purchases and click on the button "Connect to ThemeForest."

    Is Webflow good for developers?

    You'll have all of the amazing talents of a designer right at your fingertips without having to think much about design at all.

    Rapid prototyping

    For web designers working independently or within an agency, Webflow can be an invaluable tool for quickly iterating and prototyping for a client’s approval. Providing collaborator access allows stakeholders access to view the design progress as well as make surface-level changes during the prototyping phase. Designers can take it a step further and add real data, CMS capabilities, or e-commerce functionality to their completed designs.

    Webflow site hosting

    Developers and designers alike can benefit from the Webflow built-in CMS, user management tools, and e-commerce features of Webflow. Affordable Webflow site hosting can allow you to connect your custom domain to your site and turn the no-code visual editor into a full-fledged deployment solution.


    Oftentimes, organizations will have legacy codes or systems in place that can’t be immediately changed, usually for business or stakeholder reasons. Webflow exports front-end files that can be passed to engineering teams to serve as a redesign of a pre-existing web asset. This is particularly useful for any company that wants a website redesign without rebuilding its entire back-end and dev-ops infrastructure.


    Webflow efficient development tips

    1. Use non-HTTP links

    Webflow tries to make your life easier at almost every step of the process, including auto-populating, converting, and validating input values. When adding an href value to an anchor, it’s possible to bypass Webflow’s automatic prefixing of links with http:// by using a backtick ( ` ).

    By inputting a backtick at the start of your input string, it’s possible to remove the http link and input alternative href values afterwards, such as telephone numbers, mailto emails, anchor links, and even javascript code as the href value.

    2. Use reusable class names

    Just like developing any website, CSS classes can become cumbersome or unwieldy if proper style hygiene is not maintained. Using the same class or tag that already has style rules associated with it will help declutter the class namespace and promote inheritance. This practice has the added benefit of ensuring brand/style consistency across your whole site, preserving your mental well-being, and keeping the CSS output file size slightly less bloated, thus better website performance.

    3. Smart components

    Imagine having to recreate your top bar navigation or your page footer for every page on your website. You wouldn’t be able to make an edit to one element on an individual page and see that change reflected across your entire site. This is where components come in handy. Components don’t need to be completely static elements, either.

    By targeting the state of elements or links within a component, you can add dynamic styles to things like menu items. The way to accomplish this is by editing your component, selecting a menu link, and then navigating to the Style Tab for that element. Click the selector dropdown to open the state menu and select the Pressed (active) state, then apply styles for menu links that are currently active.

    4. Anchor linking to elements and smooth scrolling

    Adding an ID to any section element allows you to navigate directly to that section from any anchor link. For instance, there is a "Team" anchor link in your top navigation that directly correlates with a "Team" section further down on your landing/home page. Clicking the anchored menu item ostensibly triggers a smooth scroll animation down to the section element with a matching ID. This smooth scroll speed transition can be achieved in one of two ways.

    1. Affect all smooth scroll speed behaviour on a single page by adding the custom attribute `data-scroll-time` to the `body` element.

    2. Affect scroll speed behaviour on an element-by-element basis by adding the custom attribute `data-scroll-time` to the link anchor being triggered or clicked.


    5. Optimize media elements and add alt text

    Webflow now automatically optimizes all inline images to the WebP format for different breakpoints. For all other images, such as those used as backgrounds, be sure to optimize your images before uploading them to Webflow. This will ensure improved website performance and positive user experiences from your potential customers.

    6. Apply a custom attribute to elements

    Custom attributes allow you to add additional data to specific document object model (DOM) elements. Custom attributes are particularly useful when outputting your front-end files to a team of developers without sacrificing the integrity of your styles or the markup. This can also be useful for feeding Google Analytics with useful event data (user clicks), allowing you to get the most out of your traffic and event analytics. To add a new custom attribute to a selected element, click the element settings tab and then click "+" under "Custom Attributes." Remember, these settings carry over to duplicate elements as well.

    7. Embrace the content management system (CMS)

    Capitalizing on the power of a CMS and collections, you can rapidly deploy your blog ideas to begin testing your proof of concepts quickly. Once published, enabling collaborators gives stakeholders the ability to create, preview, and publish content. Collection lists and collection pages can be automatically generated for every item in a collection. Collections are also a core part of the e-commerce functionality built into the Webflow platform.

    8. Learn shortcuts

    Just about every menu item and element in the Webflow Editor has a keyboard shortcut associated with it. Speed up your Webflow editing workflow by learning some of the core keyboard shortcuts.

    If you hover over Webflow Editor UI menu items, you'll see the keyboard shortcut for that menu item displayed in the tooltip. For instance, hovering over the style panel tab on the top right shows the keyboard shortcut "(S)" on the tooltip "Style (S)."

    9. Search engine optimization (SEO)

    You should be following SEO best practices when structuring your content. This includes adding alt tags to your images, including at least one H1 on every page and H2 and H3s where appropriate. Make sure your content is structured semantically so that nested child elements make sense. Enable indexing in your Site Settings > SEO > Indexing.

    Enabling SEO titles and meta descriptions is an easily overlooked feature of Webflow pages, but incredibly important for driving search engine traffic to your domain. Your page’s title and meta descriptions appear on Google when your site appears in search results.

    To edit your page’s SEO settings, open the Pages Panel, hover over a page, and click the cog (settings) icon to open the Page settings. Navigate to SEO settings and add the title tag and meta description information of the page.

    10. Audit your website before publishing

    Last but not least, the Audit panel is a designer and developer’s best friend in terms of making your website as accessible or as user-friendly as possible before publishing. Error messages are broken down into two different categories.

    • Critical errors (red squares) are issues that may affect users’ ability to experience critical site content and/or SEO performance may be severely degraded.

    • Moderate errors (yellow triangles) are important issues to address but will not severely degrade performance or accessibility.

    Bonus tip: How can I speed up my Webflow website?

    As fast as Webflow already is, there are ways through which you can make them even more responsive faster. Alternatively, if you feel your Weblflow site is sluggish, there are a few things that you can do:

    • Remove any unnecessary third-party scripts.

    • Optimize your site for mobile devices.

    • Optimize your site for tablets.

    • Compress images before uploading them to Webflow.

    • Optimize CSS stylesheets.

    • Optimize your images.

    • Reduce the number of fonts on the page.

    • Reduce the number of plugins used on the page.

    • Use Webflow's cache feature.



    Now that you know some of the more efficient Webflow tips and best practices and understand a bit better how Webflow can fit into any web design project, you should be able to approach your next Webflow project with confidence. Webflow offers everyone the tools, resources, and opportunity to build amazing websites that make a huge difference. Remember, you’re building products that your customers will benefit from and enjoy if you use the Webflow website builder.

    Perhaps a lot of this information is already second nature to you and you’re already on the path of a Webflow designer or developer; maybe now you want to build something other than your own website. Your skills, talent, and passion are in high demand right now. Be sure to check out Webflow job-related listings here and start building amazing products.