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WordPress Case Study

At Standout Arts, we have moved to Webflow as our preferred web design and development platform.  

Here are a few reasons why

Functionality

“When it comes to functionality, the system ensures utmost flexibility. It unveils lots of opportunities to users willing to create websites with excellent visual appeal and performance. Thus, it provides customizable forms, which contain the set of required elements, drop down menus, tabs, HTML embedding option, HTML/CSS sliders and carousels, background video integration, interactive Google maps, lightbox components, social sharing option, rich text components, responsive website navigation and other features that bring Webflow functionality to the top notch level.”

- SOURCE: https://superbwebsitebuilders.com/webflow-review/

Excellent & “Clean” Code

“If your design team is comfortable working with HTML, CSS, and Javascript, Webflow becomes an even more robust tool, allowing you to fine tune a design into a working, interactive website. With their Style, Navigator, and Interaction tabs, it’s sort of like you’re writing code, without actually writing it. Although, you can absolutely inject custom code into the project if you feel like it as well!”

- SOURCE: https://statusforward.com/webflow-web-design-process/

Why is Code So Important?

At Standout Arts, we recognize the importance of clutter-free, “real” code in web design.  Webflow offers us the advantages of designing like a designer while delivering true, browser-ready code that is required by today’s browsers.  In short, Webflow delivers true HTML, CSS, and Javascript – the building blocks of solid, well-functioning, search engine-preferred, browser-ready websites.  

It’s important to note that DIY builders MUST have elements to their code that make the drag-and-drop builder features possible.  That code is very heavy and very clunky.  It’s what makes the “building” possible – but it’s exactly what slows down the actual site and interferes with browser performance and search engine robots.  For this reason, we ensure that the platforms that we use deliver clean, browser and search-ready code.  That’s where Webflow comes back into the picture.

Editing and Maintaining a Website

We always want to provide professional website maintenance services for our clients.  Whether it’s a quick update or an extensive addition or revision to an existing client site, we’re here for you.  That said, we understand that our clients want (and should have) access to edit and maintain their own websites, in-house.  For this reason, our developer platform must accommodate this critical feature.  While many of our competitors are still using WordPress (usually only for either the templates or the CMS…or both), we want our clients to have an Editor to their websites that’s EASY TO USE – no complicated dashboards (i.e. WordPress).  

This is another reason why we use Webflow.  Webflow (with Webflow’s hosting) allows for a robust CMS for backend content management and a super easy-to-use browser for a streamlined way for our clients to edit their own sites without code, without special software, without anything to download or purchase and without the frustrations of not being able to locate areas of specific content.  With the Webflow Editor, you edit your website as it appears to a visitor – this is TRULY a WYSISYG (What You See Is What You Get) editing process that saves countless hours and frustrations while making it simple, quick, and efficient to update and manage a website in-house.  

Here’s what others have to say about the Webflow CMS and Editor:

“So, what makes the Webflow version special? They have created a really flexible CMS that you can customize to make your life easier!  Want to build a custom Pinterest Save button, and link it to your blogging set up? Done! Want to build an image database that your VA can access without giving them access to your entire website? Done! Want to filter and link to create perfectly curated posts for each visitor? Done! Want to control exactly how your blog post collection or portfolio collection or testimonial collection looks on different pages? Done! See the trend here? You can do almost anything with the Webflow CMS. Well, I haven’t figured out how to make it clean my house yet...but you get the point.”

- SOURCE: https://www.katieschwarzdesign.com/resources/webflow-review

"Apart from on-site editing, i.e. the possibility to change any text or media right on the page you’re designing, the CMS part of Webflow allows manually defining custom content types (blog posts, projects, team members, etc) with fully customizable fields, which can greatly improve the life of those who manage larger web projects with complex structures.  

Apart from the CMS back-end, there’s also the Webflow Editor, which allows adding new content of the existing type on a published website – useful both to the creators of the website and their collaborators, as well as to their clients. What this means is that you get a  fully functional website with both editable static pages and dynamic content like blog posts, portfolio projects, etc, without the need to install any plugins.  

The fact that it offers multiple content types, of which blog posts are just one option, means that Webflow eats WordPress and other open-source systems like Drupal for breakfast when it comes to CMS flexibility. One might get a feeling that Webflow strives to make the content management part as seamless as possible, in order not to steal the spotlight from the Site Designer – which is not a bad thing, considering its primary value proposition. In any case, Webflow’s CMS is still much more flexible and diverse than that of WordPress core or popular site builders like Wix."

- SOURCE: https://satoristudio.net/webflow-review/#cms

"Managing your website’s content shouldn’t be a hassle. So we made it easy. With the Webflow Editor, there’s no complex dashboards or disconnected back end — just you, your website, and the content you want to change.  

Write and edit – right on your site!  With the Webflow Editor, you can create and edit content right on your page, so there’s no need to navigate a messy backend content management system (we’re looking at you, WordPress). Once you’re happy with the changes, you can publish them to the site with the click of a button.  

Create and publish new content – in minutes!  Adding new content is as easy as filling out a form. You can even write new content right on the page to see exactly how it will look once it’s live.”

- SOURCE: https://webflow.com/editor

“The Webflow CMS has been so seamless, and enjoyable for the client. Page edits as easy as a Squarespace sites for the client, but complete design control for me.” - Micah Ryan, Front-end Developer

SEO

“Webflow gives search engines everything they love: clean, semantic code; super-fast page loads; and mobile-friendliness, right out of the box. The only missing ingredient? Your amazing content.”

- SOURCE: https://webflow.com/feature/search-engine-optimized  

Of course, at Standout Arts, we’ll be taking it a few steps further with critical on-page SEO elements like alt-tags, meta titles & descriptions; auto-generated XML sitemaps, GOOD COPY with internal links, and other essentials!

What about WordPress?

Common Issues with WordPress:

Code Clutter: WordPress sites rely on templates that are designed and built to accommodate as many websites as possible. This requires a huge amount of code to be included - much of which YOUR, individual site does not require. This results in useless "junk code" running in the background of your site, slowing down its performance which hinders SEO and overall functionality

Security Issues: Because WordPress requires plugins that are developed by third-parties, WordPress sites are easily hacked. Hackers can infiltrate the code of plugins that were built by programmers with limited security measures in place. Once plugins are hacked, WordPress sites become unstable and are vulnerable to additional security threats

Ongoing Maintenance Issues: Because WordPress sites are three-pronged, there are countless issues with troubleshooting - WordPress, the platform must be continuously updated for security, which can cause compatibility issues with the "theme" that's being used for your site. Additionally, the "theme", itself, must be updated regularly. Then, the individual "plugins" must be updated regularly - and when the "theme" is updated, it can cause compatibility issues with the latest versions of the "plugins".  Additionally, there are instances when updates for a currently-installed plugin are not available or cannot be made compatible with a current version of the "theme" or the current version of WordPress, itself. This means that you're forced to either find (and usually purchase) and install and re-configure a new plugin that provides similar functionality, or forgo this plugin feature altogether.

Ongoing Costs: Again, because of the heavy reliance on plugins, WordPress sites require plugin and theme upgrades, updates and new installations in order to be maintained, updated, or to grow alongside you. While some (potentially poorly secured) plugins are free, many are paid - resulting in additional costs.

Dashboard Management: Updating WordPress sites require a dashboard that is often not very intuitive for the editor, requiring an editor or admin to navigate through to plugins, pages, themes, appearances, posts, pages, etc., just to make what are often times very simple updates. This is inefficient and overly complicated. There are far superior Content Management Systems (CMS) that are currently available for easier in-house site updates.

See The Difference with the Content Management System (VIDEO):

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