Oct 21, 2021 — Webflow announced that a site plan would be available to eligible students free of charge, an unprecedented move among leading website builders. Students are now able to launch their websites under a free annual CMS site plan with custom domains and without any branded badge.
What is Webflow?
Webflow is a website builder. A website builder, or a website building platform, is a generally no-code, drag-and-drop website creation tool that includes hosting.
According to the Site Builder Report, the leading website builders of 2020 were Wix and Squarespace, powering 53% of all sites created using a website builder. In terms of popularity, Webflow was ranked at a modest 13th place that year.
However, among the top 1 million websites, Webflow was the second most popular choice, behind Squarespace and just ahead of Wix. An impressive 2.5% of all sites created using Webflow are ranked in the top 1 million.
What Makes Webflow a Better Choice to Build a Portfolio for Students?
Statistically speaking, a student is more likely to use the free plan in Wix for their portfolio than anything else. According to Wix’s Help Center article, a free website built using Wix will have its branding all over the website.
Similarly, Webflow branding appears on websites built using Webflow’s free plan as well (in the URL and as a small badge on every page).
The difference comes from the student discount offered by each company. Wix currently offers a 50% discount to students compared to Webflow’s 100% discount on a Site Plan, which allows students to completely remove Webflow’s branding and link a custom domain, all for free.
As a side note, a more subjective benefit of choosing Webflow over other website builders is the ease to create interactive websites as showcased by Webflow themselves.
Webflow is a great option for design students who want to have their own portfolio website that has no messy branding that affects their professionalism. Branding elements could also affect the site layout and aesthetics which is likely to be important to a student studying in design.
Being able to create a website without compromising on branding is already a substantial benefit. Webflow offers more than that: it has a powerful drag-and-drop tool that can be utilized to create some impressive web design and layout filled with mouse and scroll interactions. Because of that, more web design agencies and digital marketing companies are using Webflow exclusively. Some users were even able to re-create Apple’s famously intricate interactive product landing pages using only Webflow tools. Being able to do all of that for free is the cherry on top for students.
How to Learn Webflow
Webflow can be intimidating at first, but there are many good resources available to the determined learner. A good place to start is Webflow’s official YouTube channel. It contains a wide range of well-produced tutorial videos covering various topics. There are videos about the basics of web development (that are useful to those interested in web development in general, not only just potential Webflow users), and there are videos that covers more advanced and “fancy” animations.