"Webflow gave me a different view on how to look at the world through a screen."
Dennis Rivers, Webflow Developer
October 9, 2021
I was skeptical. Another web design tool? Another CMS that promises to be the easiest to use? Another *insert another digital product name* that would eventually let our team and clients down?
All of these questions quickly faded.
When Taylor & I started Whiteboard in 2010, we didn’t have any agency experience and just wanted to make great websites for people we cared about. Taylor was a self-taught developer. I was a self-taught designer. Our first projects were forged by fire—lots of late nights, coffee, work, and rework.
When our Director of Marketing (Nick) approached me a couple of years ago about the possibility of embracing an emerging no-code website tool (Webflow) in our technology stack, I was immediately cautious. It seemed like our growing team was recommending some new, “transformative” tool every other day and many of them ended up not delivering.
I also remembered the headwinds Taylor and I faced in the early days of Whiteboard. The dozens of projects that shouldn’t have taken 3 months, 6 months, or longer to launch. I was open to a new solution that could serve our clients well and our process well.
Now, 50-websites-built-with-Webflow later, I can say without a doubt that no-code is the real deal, and has in fact transformed the way we help advance the mission of many of our clients. It’s a platform that continues to empower our team to create inspiring, engaging interactive work for Fortune 500’s, global nonprofits, early-stage ventures, and more.
(Note—this article is in no way a paid endorsement of Webflow. It’s simply our own experience and celebration of a truly transformative digital tool. The world needs more celebration.)
But the magic of Webflow isn’t just about the outcomes of the platform.
Webflow’s magic is found in...
...the process of creation.
...how it empowers collaboration.
...how it removes “experience” barriers.
...how it empowers speed without sacrificing quality.
It’s about Webflow’s mission—”to enable everyone to create for the web—and leading fulfilling, impactful lives while we do it.”
In our work with Webflow over the past few years, we’ve seen several notable outcomes for our agency and our clients:
- Accelerating personal skill growth
- Democratizing web design and development
- Strong platform x agency partnership
- Rapidly advancing meaningful work
ACCELERATING PERSONAL SKILL GROWTH
In 2020, Whiteboard launched an Understudy Program designed to accomplish two things:
- Empower career transition into the creative industry by paying people (instead of charging them) to learn new skills (regardless of career path)
- Accelerate career trajectory for new creatives by paying them to learn and embedding them in the heart of real projects (regardless of resume experience)
A core part of our Understory program centers on Webflow, its capabilities, and its removal of the complex layers of building low-complexity, user experience-focused websites.
Here are the stories of two of our first Understudies (both now full-time Whiteboarders) who had barely heard of Webflow (nor had any prior web design experience) before joining our team:
Dennis Rivers is from Cleveland, Tennessee, and before joining Whiteboard, he worked at a restaurant for 15+ years. When I asked Dennis how Webflow empowered his career he said:
Webflow gave me a different view on how to look at the world through a screen. From different colors to animations, Webflow opens up the mind to a whole new perspective. For example, if people look into a forest, they will say that they see green leaves and brown tree stumps, but it's so much more than that. Yes. The leaves are green and the stump is brown, but what about all the colors in between? What about the linear gradients that shift the green to yellowish-orange? What about the many different colors of brown there are in the stump? Webflow helps me look at not only the beauty of the world, but the root behind it all.
Some of Dennis’s favorite projects he’s helped build with Webflow:
Chase Floyd was a barista in Chattanooga, Tennessee who had just started dabbling in the world of web design when he applied for an Understudy role. I asked him the same question.
Some of Chase’s favorite projects he’s helped build with Webflow:
DEMOCRATIZING WEB DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT
We recently had the opportunity to work with Justice Defenders (formerly African Prison Project), to design and develop a new brand and digital home for their incredible work. In many countries (such as Kenya), accused prisoners are often considered guilty until proven innocent rather than innocent until proven guilty and are unjustly held on false charges. This perpetuates the cycle of extreme poverty as many of the prisoners caught in this cycle are extremely poor and can’t afford legal representation. They become defenseless.
Amid a constrained timeline to implement the new brand and an incredible opportunity to be featured on 60 Minutes with Anderson Cooper our team recommended Webflow as our platform of choice.
Utilizing Webflow substantially lowers the barrier to entry for new creatives in the digital industry to make excellent digital experiences for brands. Through Whiteboard’s Understudy Program and the power of Webflow, we were able to train creative professionals who were transitioning from other careers to build the Justice Defenders website project in 1/10th the time it would normally take to learn the skills to deliver a similar-quality project on other website-building platforms. This opens up the power of the digital economy to a much broader audience, empowering robust careers that can change people’s lives.
Sidenote: In December 2020, Justice Defenders was featured on 60 Minutes with Anderson Cooper that you should make time to watch. The primary concern of the event was ensuring that their website wouldn’t go down with the expected traffic bump. Webflow never blipped as they currently process over 4.1 billion page views a month for their customers (that’s 3x more than CNN.com and BBC.com, combined).
STRONG PLATFORM X AGENCY PARTNERSHIP
In 2020, Whiteboard was chosen to become one of the first Webflow Enterprise Partners providing services on their Enterprise platform to large customers.
It’s a partnership that we love and are grateful for.
When I asked some of our senior leaders (who have served in the industry for years) what they love about Webflow here’s what they said:
- The old methodology was either “Learn to code” or “Pay for another website BEHIND your website to write code for you (a CMS)”. Webflow blurs that line for seamless web creation, allowing seasoned web developers and newcomers to work in the exact same interface.
- Websites get too complicated. All the libraries, plugins, and third-party solutions can be brittle and perform poorly. Webflow lets creatives focus on building the experience while it delivers excellent performance and data management behind the scenes.
- Extensibility through custom or out-of-the-box API integrations.
- Staging and deployment: Webflow makes it simple to deploy new work, whether design or content or both, to a staging link for review prior to publishing to production
- Webflow has helped our team be agile in our roles based on the client's needs. For example, some of our team members don't often develop sites or specialize in Webflow, but because of the easy learning curve, they are able to jump in when needed.
RAPIDLY ADVANCING MEANINGFUL WORK
But it’s likely that the work speaks for itself. We hope the below examples inspire you, your team, your agency, or your organization. If you're considering Webflow for your future digital home, we’d love to hear from you.
If you’re looking to learn more about Webflow make sure to take the Webflow for Beginners course created by our Sr. Interactive Designer & Lead Webflow Developer, Jose Ocando.
Most importantly, we hope you join us in advancing Webflow’s mission to enable everyone to create for the web.
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Yes, our website is built on Webflow too. I was skeptical. Another web design tool? Another CMS that promises to be the easiest to use? Another *insert another digital product name* that would eventually let our team and clients down? whiteboard.is