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Webstudio vs Webflow

May 30, 2023
6 min read time
Author:
Oleg

A comprehensive guide for visual developers

Webstudio vs Webflow concept illustration

Every visual development tool is designed to put the power of code into the hands of no-coders (or low-coders). Some platforms, like Framer Sites, focus on making it as easy as possible to make a website. However, the farther you get from the logic and structure of HTML & CSS, the less creative freedom and power you have to work with.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have tools like Webflow and Webstudio that give users a visual way to interact directly with HTML & CSS. With this extended functionality, you can build more creative and capable websites.

At Webstudio, we prioritize performance, creative freedom, and extensive collaboration. With the right tools at hand and an active community around you, it is a lot more fun to develop the perfect websites!

Here is a detailed look at some of the main differences that set Webstudio apart from Webflow and other similar platforms:

Community first approach to development

We are going to build the best visual development platform by investing in our community and listening to what you have to say.

Free collaboration

Collaboration should be at the heart of any professional tool. In order to match the Figma experience, we are building a real-time collaborative engine that is both multi-player and multi-cursor.

Native extensibility

Webstudio is developed around the concept of "native extensibility," which allows every community member to add features as if they were built-in through components and plugins.

Backend versatility

Instead of building a CMS or database, we plan to take a "backend-less" or "backless" approach. With our integrations, you can use different CMSs and databases as if they were built-in.

Design Tokens vs Classes

What if you could reuse individual styles, mix and match any amount of design tokens, sync them with design programs, and manage it all effectively?

Performance

High-performing websites are a core component of our mission, and our platform is built on top of the most advanced and modern open-source technology.

Ownership and Privacy

Besides prioritizing the development and growth of a sustainable platform, Webstudio also offers free, GDPR-compliant hosting, with the option to self-host.

Pricing

At around 10,000/page views per month, our free plan limit is very generous, allowing everyone to experiment and build production sites for free.

Community-First Approach to Development

Webstudio's core is an open-source builder, and our source code is available online.

Our vision is to build the best visual development platform, period, and we are going to accomplish that by investing in our community and listening to what you have to say.

Instead of posting wish list items, join our inclusive community where you can collaborate, share feedback, and even talk directly with the core team.


Free Collaboration

Remember the excitement we felt when Figma was first released? Suddenly, you didn't have to send files back and forth; you could show someone what you were working on or build it together. That is precisely the architecture and user experience we aim to achieve with Webstudio!

Collaboration should be at the heart of any professional tool, and we aim to make Webstudio as collaborative as possible. In order to match the experience you get with Figma, we are building a real-time collaborative engine that is both multi-player and multi-cursor.

While this feature is not available in the Beta, it is coming very soon, as we have designed our primary architecture with this goal in mind.

And the best part of it all? We have no plans to monetize collaboration, so whether you have a Free or Pro account, you can always create and engage with fellow builders in real-time.


Native Extensibility

Webstudio is developed around the concept of "native extensibility," which allows every community member to add features as if they were built into the platform through components and plugins.

There are two types of integrations you can implement:

  1. Components — Extensibility on Canvas

  2. With component integration, you can install any third-party library component like Tailwind, Material UI, Shopify, or WordPress. These components will be rendered in a safe environment on the canvas and the published-site cloud. The core architecture is designed to support this feature safely, and we will publish an in-depth article about it once it's ready.

  3. Plugins — UI for 3rd Party Services

  4. Like Figma plugins, a plugin on Webstudio can provide a UI with access to the underlying document model via APIs. This UI will support integrating complex third-party systems in your projects to enhance and improve your workflows.


Backend Versatility

Content Management Systems (CMSs) are incredibly complex because they solve a variety of different tasks, and at Webstudio, we want to provide our community with endless options. As the founder of Webstudio, I am often asked whether our Platform's Pro Plan has a limitation like 10,000 items for the CMS.

I can't help but chuckle every time I hear that question!

With the Webstudio builder, we are moving away from the idea of building a CMS or database altogether. Instead, we plan to take a "backend-less" or "backless" approach. Let me know which term you think is more correct 🤷‍♂️

We understand the struggle of working within limitations and how that can affect workflow optimization for designers and developers. Therefore, with our integrations, you can use different CMSs and databases as if they were built-in.

For instance, you could add a shopping cart component to your canvas that knows how to talk to Shopify API without writing any code, and it will take effect immediately. You also get the freedom to add article components that will render your CMS articles from a CMS such as Wordpress, Sanity, Airtable, or Notion.

The idea is not to build everything ourselves. By enabling creative freedom to engineer new tools within our community, we hope to foster a wider range of designer-oriented choices in the coming years.


Design Tokens vs Classes

The "classes" UI in Webflow is impressive, but it can quickly become disorganized and hard to manage.

Take a moment to consider this:

What if you could reuse individual styles, mix and match any amount of design tokens, sync them with design programs, and manage it all effectively?

Sounds perfect, doesn't it? That’s exactly what you get at Webstudio, where we have a "Local" style by default that allows you to style without having to name anything. You can convert it to a Design Token with just one click!

The key to the power of Design Tokens is that they are rendered in the order they are arranged. You can rearrange these tokens any way you want, giving you ultimate power in managing your styles. Since the tokens are "properly composable," you can use any of them without running into specificity issues.

Other than that, we will provide access to all pseudo-classes that CSS has to offer, and you can easily define a custom attribute selector. As a creator, these features give you the ability to style absolutely everything.

Best of all, since design tokens have a standardized format, that means in the future, you will be able to sync tokens in Webstudio with other tools like Figma, and vice versa!


Performance

High-performing websites are another core component of our mission with Webstudio, and our platform is built on top of the most advanced and modern open-source technology. On top of that, our architecture allows us to upgrade performance features efficiently as we progress.

Some features that we have included are WebP-optimized images, a workers-based cloud, and efficient rendering thanks to Remix. This Open Source React framework is designed to optimize rendering and progressively enhance React-based sites.

We realize that slow websites are caused by multiple issues in the core architecture, and our approach is designed to identify and improve every aspect of your site to help deliver extreme performance.


Ownership and Privacy

The Webstudio platform is designed to respect every site visitor’s privacy needs. As such, our platform has no Google Tracking by default, and it is only possible to track activity if you choose to include a tracking script in your site.

Besides prioritizing the development and growth of a sustainable platform, Webstudio also offers free, GDPR-compliant hosting, with the option to self-host. You will have complete ownership over the site you build and your data, with no platform lock-in other than your desire to use the tool.


Pricing

Lastly, let's discuss our pricing model, which is a significant departure from what Webflow is doing.

We practice our pricing strategies in accordance with our Free Plan Philosophy, and they are designed to give you all features you need to build your dream site while limiting your monthly page views. At around 10,000/page views per month, this limit is very generous, allowing everyone to experiment and build production sites for free.

Our paid plans come with additional features needed specifically for larger teams. We intend to only monetize the advanced limits and capabilities that professional builders and agencies require for client work.


Conclusion

There are several differences between Webstudio and Webflow, including the pricing model, native extensibility, backend versatility, and privacy compliance.

With Webstudio, you get the freedom and creative tools to build the site you want while being part of an inclusive community and remaining close to HTML and CSS. We hope this article has convinced you to dive in and explore the Webstudio world with the Beta version available now!

Stay tuned for future updates by following us on Twitter!

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