Are you a designer searching for the perfect web design platform and dont know where to start?

Let’s face it. No designer wants to learn to code. Punching numbers and digits is not why we got into the business. So like many other designers before us we have hunted for the perfect user friendly software that allowed us the maximum capabilities to offer our clients. After hundreds of hours of frustrating and “sometimes” rewarding work we would like to offer our insights into the main three platforms that we have decided to master.

Using WordPress

Word press is the most popular web platform in the world, powering a staggering 33 percent of the worlds websites. So like it or not, as a company who wants to compete in the website building market it was worth learning and understanding the pros and cons of this platform.

First of all one great thing about word press is that an open source platform, that means it’s 100% free for people to use. This suited us greatly when we were starting out. The only expenses left to deal with when using WP are the hosting and domain costs.

One thing that should be known about WordPress is that its all about the plugins!. If you don’t know what a plugin is, I guess you could describe them as apps for your website. Plugins are a great way to really take your WP website to the next level and they allow you to add almost any feature you like to your website. One problem we faced with Plugins is that there are literally hundreds if not thousands of plugins out there and not all of them are all that great to use, they can also conflict with other plugins and change the functionality of your site for the worst. So please proceed with caution and do your research on each plugin before using them.

For ease of use we found WP harder to use than expected. It takes some time to understand the relationship between the back end and front end of WP and sometimes simple design changes were not easy to figure out. Each plugin needs to be individually researched and learned. Another thing is that you need to manage your own security and backups and updates on WP. This is important to understand so you don’t loose all yours or your clients hard work!.

In summary WP is a great platform once you know how to use it. Learning how to use it however is not intuitive and takes many hours of frustration. So if you want to save a dollar but could use the extra stress in your life WP is the platform for you.

Using Wix

After getting a little frustrated with the disjointedness of WordPress we decided to build our next clients website on the most user friendly software we could find.

With 110 million users, Wix really was a great choice. We were able to land on our feet running with its easy to use drag and drop editor that can be used along with hundreds of their beautiful templates. We found this platform extreemly intuitive to use, were able to get results quickly and more importantly to meet our clients deadline.

The speed in which you can design a website is fantastic which makes it a hard platform to compete with when using competitors software. Wix also has an app market that is similar to WordPress plugins where you can add interesting features to your site. You can also market your website with their in built SEO, this is also easy to use when you follow the steps from their SEO wizard.

From a critical perspective we found that using Wix made it hard to be completely free creatively. In a way you are limited to the framework of their platform and we found this a little restricting. You are also restricted to operating within their plans. Not that its horribly expensive but if you are trying to start a business on a budget it is something to consider. One other major thing with Wix is that they don’t use CMS (content management systems) like WordPress, Webflow or Typo so its not as easy to update your website with new content.

We do love that Wix has really thought of the end user and really gives power to people just learning about building websites. We recommend their platform to small businesses, people who want to create their own business website, and designers whose bread and butter isn’t usually making websites.

Using Webflow

Recently Webflow came onto the scene and dropped an absolute fortune on their social media marketing. Falling victim to their online assault we decided to look into what they were all about and if they actually had something to offer our buisness.

What we found was a pleasant surprise. Webflow was actually the platform we had been looking for. We wanted something that was tailored to the professional rather than the hobby website creators we started off being.

One thing that really appealed to us is Webflow’s integrations with after effects. Animation is one of the main things The Green Room offers so we felt that it was something that could give us the upper hand when competing in the marketplace.

We also loved that Webflow makes no sacrifices when it comes to complete design freedom. Once we learnt how to make best use of the platform we felt there was very little holding us back. Checking your website at any screen size is very easy. Creating complex and dynamic animations had never been so accessible and creating and organising classes to speed up work flow was another feature that we loved. Their CMS features are amazing to use and client billing also allows you to make passive income on each website that you build.

Before jumping in head first, one thing that needs to be made clear is that Webflow is really designed for the professional website builder. It requires a great deal of time to really get your head around and if you look at the  online reviews you will see a lot of people who found it too difficult to learn and turned away.

Our opinion is that Webflow is one of the most flexible, and customisable website builders on the market If you are feeling motivated to learn the ins and outs of their designer then the rewards can be very sweet. If you aren’t trying to make web design a serious part of your work then perhaps its not the platform for you and you should stick to something like Wix or their leading competition Squarespace.