Why should I host my website with Webflow?

April 8, 2019

In this post, I explain why hosting is necessary in a website development and why hosting with Webflow is beneficial.

I regularly find myself explaining to new clients why they should host their website with Webflow (the platform that I use to develop websites) and what the cost goes towards.

I've (finally) written this blog post as a reference I can link to.

If you want a quick summary:

  • a website is a series of files that have to be ‘hosted’ somewhere online (think a digital filing cabinet);
  • when people visit your domain name (i.e. domin8designs.com.au), a backend process points them to this filing cabinet;
  • hosting with Webflow keeps everything tidy - no need to export every website file, and re-upload this elsewhere;
  • it enables the use of the content management system (CMS) and client editor - enabling you to easily update your website;
  • the cost of hosting with Webflow is for: a) the domain name to filing cabinet process b) paying for the filing cabinet space online c) use of the CMS and editor to make changes to your website d) some additional backend security, fast servers etc.

If you’re interested in learning more, read on....

Question - what is website hosting?

The various files and structures that make up a website must be stored somewhere online.

I like to explain website hosting as the digital filing cabinet that stores these files.

When someone visits your domain name (i.e. www.domin8designs.com.au) there’s a process behind the scenes that points that link, to those respective website files and their storage place online.

Much like storing household items in a shipping container, storing these files isn't free - and the cost outlined to host with Webflow contributes to paying for this online space.

Hosting externally versus internal hosting

Depending on your website setup, hosting can often be done externally or internally (i.e. Webflow).

Hosting a website externally means exporting all the files required, and re-uploading these to a different hosting service.

A benefit of this is that using a different host may be slightly cheaper, however this is often outweighed by requiring a website developer to perform updates as the export/upload process isn’t easy and open for error.

In short, it means a strong reliance on an external party - and often cost - to perform even a simple update on your website.

By internal hosting, I mean the same platform used to develop the website also hosts it.

This may be slightly more expensive compared to an external host, but means that everything is kept neat and tidy in the same place.

Regarding Webflow, it also means it’s easy to perform even the simplest change to your website (think, changing one word on your about page).

Instead of having to log in, learn how to code, export the files, remember where and how to re-upload them and fix anything that’s been messed up in the process… it’s as simple as making the change in a website browser and hitting the ‘publish’ button to make the change live.

image highlighting publish button
Making changes to your website live is as simple as hitting one button

Question - what is the content management system and editor?

The content management system (CMS) and editor is only enabled by hosting with Webflow.

Whilst this seems like a limitation, it’s actually incredibly useful and wouldn’t be easily possible if a website was developed in Webflow and hosted externally.

The CMS and editor lets you make changes to your website, whether that’s editing some text, adding a new news item or changing a photo.

As above, traditionally this would all have to be done in code - meaning website updates were only possible by an experienced developer.

Using the CMS and editor reduces the ongoing costs associated with running a website, and makes updating easier.

Stay tuned for a blog post specific to just how easy the CMS and editor make editing and adding new content.

Question - I have a host already for my website, why should I change?

This is always a tricky one, however my answer to this would be because of the benefits of the CMS and editor.

I often hear clients express frustration at the cost and process to make an update - all of which is made easier using the editor and CMS.

Yes, there may be a downside: an overlap in costs where you're paying for your existing external host, as well as Webflow once your website is at a ready stage.

However, I do see this as some short term pain versus long term gain - and Wakeford Digital is always happy to come to an arrangement if this is an issue.

In short, what are the benefits of hosting with Webflow?

The benefits of hosting with Webflow are:

  • apart from your domain name, everything website related is kept in the same place;
  • it's one cost that covers hosting, domain name transfers and some additional security, server etc. services;
  • it enables the editor and CMS, making updating your own website possible;

As new, or potential new client, I hope you've found this post useful in detailing a little bit more about what that 'hosting cost' actually goes towards - and the benefits that sit behind it.

If you haven't already, I invite you to engage with us on social media through our Facebook and Instagram pages. Wakeford Digital is also kicking some big goals at the moment and any support is appreciated.

by Dominic Anastasio
Owner and Creative Director Domin8 Designs

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