Webflow is our platform of choice. We’ve been using it since 2015, and prior to that we worked with Wordpress. There was a small window where we worked with both but over time, as our frustrations with Wordpress mounted, we finally said @$%# it, we’re going Webflow-only, #sorrynotsorry Wordpress.
I could probably write a whole post on why someone should choose Webflow over any platform but I’ll sum it up to the equation that has always kept us coming back.
Over the years it’s only gotten better, bigger, faster, more awesome. Does it have drawbacks? Sure, nothing is perfect, but none that have deterred us.
Webflow has a partner program, an inner circle for users who have been certified and given the coveted status of “Webflow Expert”. As an expert you can proudly display the Webflow Expert badge on your own website and be included in the Expert database where clients can find you. The program has been around for a few years now but until somewhat recently was a little opaque on what the qualifications were to get the goods.
In fact, we've applied a few times over the years. It was a pretty simple form to enter a few work examples and your email address. The only message you’d receive back was something akin to “Thanks for your submission, don’t call us, we’ll call you”. We never got the call. And truth be told, we weren’t actually ready yet … until now.
A few months ago, the thought crossed my mind to apply once again as I was feeling much more confident about the work we had to present. We’ve grown a lot in the few years we’ve been using the platform and now it felt like we were ready. I was expecting this application to be like all the others but was surprised to find that this time it was different. Webflow now provides SO much clarity about what was required to be considered as an Expert. In fact, there was a handy rubric to make sure that your work submissions were completely up to code (pun intended).
There were a few steps we needed to take to apply this go round, and it was going to take some time to do it.
We picked our top three work examples and then set about getting them in order. The highest DC was without a doubt making sure that all three sites had clear and consistent style guide and CSS naming conventions.
That meant going over our class names and systems with a fine tooth comb. Of the three sites we picked one relatively small and simple site, one e-commerce with lots of interactions and animations, and one very large scale nonprofit site with tons of custom code. Going in and cleaning it all up took a good while.
Next we had to spit polish the bejeezus out of these sites, in some cases making some improvements to make them even better. We went through the rubric multiple times, checking, double checking, triple checking that we hadn’t left anything off.
Our advice: take your time here. Make sure not one single thing is out of place.
This part was pretty simple and also enjoyable, though it does take a while to get through it all. One of the things that has always kept us with Webflow rather than other platforms like Pinegrow or Elementor or Ycode or whatever new contender comes out, is Webflow University. They clearly spent as much time and energy and maybe even money on their education component as the platform itself. The content is extremely helpful and extremely entertaining and funny. It’s just @#$%ing delightful. To apply for Expert status you do have to have watched every single video, but this will come in handy for the next part…
Our advice: pull on your cozy pants, grab a fluffy critter, and snuggle into a marathon bingefest of WF videos. Or just watch them when you can.
I’m super lucky I have my brother. He’s a true frontend developer with ninja skills I don’t possess. I know Webflow pretty darn well, but whereas I’m a Webflow developer, he’s a proper Front End dev. That proved critical as the Exams proved a little tougher than I thought they’d be. Now, you’ll have everything you need to know if you’ve watched all the videos from the University, but still, I was glad Matt and I could pair on this.
The exams themselves are 20 to 25ish questions around general Webflow rules and best practices as well as more specific things like CMS stuff. If you know your @#$% most of it is pretty easy, but look out! Some questions are very trickily worded.
Our advice: watch them videos, everything you need is in there. Also, if you’re still unsure on a question, fire up a blank Webflow project and try to recreate what they’re asking you, you’ll definitely find your answer that way.
Once we had our sites in order, watched the videos, and received our four certificates we were ready to apply. The application process was a relatively short Typeform with only one gotcha… they wanted a review from a client. We don’t post client reviews on our own website (I guess we ought to?) so we had to pause the application and go get one. Once we had that in hand we hit the apply button and off it went into the deep dark internet.
About a week or so later we got an email from Webflow … my heart leapt into my throat. Was this news of whether we’d been accepted? What if we did? What if we got rejected?? It ended up saying that they’d recently changed their application process and we’d need to reapply. The reapplication wasn’t complicated so we applied again. Even though we hadn’t (yet) been accepted, it was somewhat comforting to see that we were somewhere on their radar rather than just in an internet void.
And now? We wait. "Due to the volume of applications we receive, we are currently unable to provide updates on individual applications and it may take several weeks for us to get back to you.” they say. Sigh.
Webflow if you can hear us, we’re ready, we’re definitely experts at this. We’d love to be in the inner circle. We’ll bring our own Eyes Wide Shut masks and cloaks and everything.