Founded in 2013, Webflow is a highly intuitive and powerful subscription-based web design and CMS platform for web designers and developers to easily build and publish responsive websites without having to write a single line of code.
Webflow has grown to be a huge success in a short time, but how have they been able to monetize their business? In this article, we will break down the Webflow revenue model and give you an in-depth analysis of how Webflow makes money.
Webflow operates on a freemium SaaS model. It makes money through two different types of subscriptions: Site Plans and Account Plans. Both free and paid users can use the core product, with advanced features reserved for subscribers.
Both kinds of plans include most of Webflow’s features but vary in pricing and number of allowed sites.
Webflow is a “no-code” web builder marketplace platform that does not require plug-ins because it has its own CMS built-in. Its revenue streams are not that unusual but its marketing methods guarantee a steady flow through those streams.
With this “drag and drop” approach, designers, and developers can focus on what they do best — design — instead of spending hours trying to debug their code or to get their site to work on all web browsers.
Webflow’s marketplace for no-code web-building templates creates a continuous stream of organic traffic which creates a natural sales funnel for Webflow’s services.
Business Model of Webflow
Webflow has a freemium SaaS business model. Customers can have access to the various web-builder templates on Webflow’s platform provided that they have a subscription. Some templates are actually free while others require a paid subscription to access.
Webflow is a SaaS application that enables designers to build “responsive websites with browser-based visual editing software”.
Webflow’s templates are “no-code” web builders which do not require plug-ins because Webflow has its own CMS (content management software) built-in.
Any websites that are built on Webflow are powered by Amazon CloudFront and hosted on Fastly.
Users have several templates to choose from. In fact, Webflow is a marketplace for templates where designers post their own templates for users to buy, or even use for free.
Webflow competitors include:
Webflow markets their company by the use of their marketplace for templates. Several template designers use Webflow to attract customers and that brings healthy exposure to Webflow.
Webflow also qualifies Webflow partners and Webflow experts, who also gain business through Webflow. Therefore, these benefiting parties have a vested interest in Webflow’s success and most likely have every incentive to do a lot of promotion for Webflow on their own.
Many reputable companies have done case studies using Webflow and have allowed Webflow to publish the results, including but not limited to:
It should also be noted that Webflow naturally generates lots of organic traffic. In fact, it has been referred to by Thoughtlytics.com as a “content machine”.
As far as active marketing goes, Webflow has:
- Its own blog with many well-trafficked blog posts
- Video materials
- Content clusters known as reading lists
- Content funnel
Finally, it would be remiss to discuss Webflow’s marketing strategy without explaining Webflow University and the Freelancer’s Journey. Webflow University is a catalog of free web-building courses from beginner all the way to advanced.
The Freelancer’s Journey is one of their most popular courses that is described as a “freelance web design boot camp”. It is obvious from the title and from the CEO’s interview, that this course is named in remembrance of Webflow CEO Vlad Magdalin’s own journey as a freelancer. He was not always a billion-dollar CEO.
The extensive course outline for the Freelancer’s Journey includes:
- Getting clients
- Developing a content strategy
- Design principles
- Site build
- Site launch
Other courses offered at Webflow University include but are not limited to:
- Add web animations with After Effects and Lottie
- Webflow eCommerce
- SEO fundamentals
- CMS & dynamic content
- CSS grid in Webflow
- CSS layout & positioning
- CSS styling
Because Webflow is not really a brick-and-mortar business, they save on a lot of costs. As with any SaaS, Webflow needs to pay for technically skilled staff, their energy expenses, and the maintenance of their equipment.
In addition, Webflow has the expenses of any other SaaS:
Plan for Profit
Webflow is already making a profit. At the moment, their plan is to become the king of no-code web-builders with the simple concept, “Design. Build. Launch.”
As stated earlier, their marketing is the real path to profit. With their enviable organic traffic, Webflow does not really have to advertise. With endorsements from companies like Dell, those who are in the know, know Webflow.
How Does Webflow Make Money?
As a freemium SaaS, Webflow generates money through its subscriptions. Its subscriptions can be divided into two revenue streams:
- Site Plans
- Account Plans
Those two revenue streams can be divided into five categories. And those five categories could be divided into ten sub-categories.
Site Plans, of course, charge on a per-website basis. This could be very good for companies that have only one or two websites, but for companies that have many websites, Account Plans are the better option.
First, Site Plans can be divided into two categories:
- Site Plans
- Ecommerce Plans
Site Plans are good for:
- Personal sites
- Business websites
Site Plans come in four tiers ranging from $12 to $36 to negotiated prices for custom plans:
The Basic Plan is suited for a simple site that does not need a CMS (content management system). The Basic Plan has a low CDN (content delivery network) bandwidth and low maximums for form submissions per month and monthly visits.
The CMS Plan is suited for a blog or other type of content-driven site. The CMS Plan has improved CDN bandwidth and improved maximums for form submissions and monthly visits. In addition, the CMS Plan allows for:
- API requests
- Content editors
- Site search
The Business Plan is suited for a higher traffic marketing site or blog. The Business Plan has improvements in almost all of the above, with the exception of the site search feature, which remains the same.
The Enterprise Plan is suited to scaling one’s business up to the enterprise level. Webflow for Enterprise allows one to:
- Enhance security with SOC-2 certification
- Protect against DDoS (domain denial of service) attacks with built-in protection powered by AWS Shield Advanced
- Simplify logins with single sign-on support
- Guarantee reliability with 99% uptime SLA
- Custom traffic scaling through a grade stack and global hosting network
- Customize SSL (Security Sockets Layer) certificates
Ecommerce Plans are good for checkout on one’s domain. Ecommerce Plans come in three tiers ranging from $29 to $212 per month.:
The Standard Plan is suited for new businesses. While the Standard Plan has a low maximum on items, staff accounts, and yearly sales volume, all of the other features of the CMS Plan are included. In addition, the Standard Plan includes:
- Custom checkout
- Custom shopping cart
- Custom product fields
- Email customization
- Integrated CMS for blogs
The Plus Plan is suited for businesses that need additional features due to higher volume. It has double the maximum items as the Standard Plan and more than triple the staff accounts and quadruple the yearly sales volume maximums.
Furthermore, it has all of the features of the Business Plan. In addition to all of the features of the Standard Plan, the Plus Plan has unbranded emails.
The Advanced Plan is suited to scale your online business. In addition to all of the features of the Plus Plan, the Advanced Plan has six times the maximum items as the Standard Plan and more than quintuple the sales account maximum. The Advanced Plan’s yearly sales volume is unlimited.
All Ecommerce Plans include:
- Stripe powered payments
- Automatic tax calculation
- Apple Pay and Web Payments
- Paypal support
- Facebook and Instagram Integration
- Google Shopping Integration
- Google Analytics Integration
- MailChimp Integration
- Custom code
- Configure manual shipping rules
All Site Plans and Ecommerce Plans include:
- Backups & versioning
- Password protection
- Advanced SEO controls
- Super-fast page loads
- SSL and security built-in
- Immediate scaling
Account Plans charge on a per-account basis. Companies that have many websites should use Account Plans.
Account Plans come in three tiers. The cheapest plan is actually free and the most costly is $35 per month:
The Starter Plan is free. It includes:
- Client billing
- 2 projects
The Lite Plan allows one to export your code and unlock more pages for hosted projects, but it is not free. In addition to all of the features of the Starter Plan, the Lite Plan includes:
- 10 projects
- Enhanced staging
- Unlimited project transfers
The Pro Plan is suited for active freelancers and designers who need more projects and premium features. In addition to all of the features of the Lite Plan, the Pro Plan includes:
- Unlimited projects
- White labeling
- Site password protection
All Account Plans include:
- Unlimited hosted projects
- Interactions and animations
- 100+ responsive templates
- 3D platforms
- Global swatches
- Custom fonts
- Flexbox and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) grid
- Reusable symbols
Webflow Funding, Valuation, and Revenues
Funding is not a problem for Webflow, especially during their series A-B rounds. Over the course of seven years, total funding for Webflow has increased by over 140x. Notable investors have included Silversmith Capital Partners and Rainfall Capital.
|Date||Total Funding (Seed + A & B Rounds)|
|Mar 2014||$1.5 M|
|Aug 2019||$73.5 M|
|Jan 2021||$213.5 M|
Webflow’s valuation has been increasing exponentially. From 2019 to 2021, Webflow’s valuation has increased 6x.
|Aug 2019||$350 M|
|Jan 2021||$2.1 B|
The revenue growth is not bad either. Webflow’s revenue has more than tripled within one year’s time.
Is Webflow Profitable?
Webflow is a profitable company with a promising future. Webflow drives real business value for its customers by enabling them to create beautiful, mobile-ready websites with no coding required.
In addition to steady gains in funding, valuation, and revenue, Webflow itself claims to be profitable and Forbes has backed them in that claim. Webflow is backed by top VC firms, profitable, and has one of the fastest-growing revenues in the industry.
Webflow has actually been ranked at #69 on Forbes Cloud 100 for 2021. The Cloud 100 is compiled by Forbes in partnership with Bessemer Ventures Partners and Salesforce Ventures. It comprises the most “innovative and valuable private companies in cloud technology”.
Conclusion: How Does Webflow Make Money?
Webflow is a drag-and-drop website builder. It allows you to make beautiful websites, with an intuitive interface. In this way, it is similar to Squarespace and Wix. Its target market is small businesses and individual entrepreneurs who do not have the technical expertise or the budget for hiring a web developer.
One of the best qualities about Webflow is that it’s an all-in-one platform – one platform for design, development, hosting, and maintaining websites. Though there are competitors out there which provide similar services, Webflow excels at providing them under one roof. They want to be a platform where consultants and designers can spend their time focusing on creating products rather than learning web programming.
Overall, Webflow is a relatively new player when it comes to designing websites. However, the few years they have been around having seen them rapidly expand their offering by adding new features along with an interesting pricing structure. Its base package of $15 per month is certainly attractive, especially when compared to the cost of the average theme offered in the market.
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