Webflow provides free code-free website builder technology for students
Webflow, the code-free web design platform, recently announced that it will offer its services for free to all students. Last month, the company decided to provide a free annual CMS sitemap to help students build a solid design portfolio, without the barrier of affordability or specialized coding skills. The unique no-code functionality has been proven successful with users and investors, with Webflow raising more than $ 200 million in funding, valuing the company at $ 2.1 billion in 2021.
“The web is an essential part of learning and expression – and for too long it has been too difficult for too many people to harness the full power of the web. Webflow’s mission is to remove barriers for anyone who wants to create for the web and by offering Webflow free to students, we are dramatically expanding access to a modern platform to boost student studies, ”said Vlad Magdalin, CEO of Webflow. “We’ve already seen some amazing websites created by students at Carnegie Mellon, California College for the Arts, Dartmouth, Purdue and more – and we can’t wait to see what the students create next. “
Webflow worked with students in Carnegie Mellon’s Master of Human-Machine Interaction (MHCI) program, examining the design portfolios that students were successful in developing with the platform. eLearning Inside caught up with MHCI’s program coordinator, Jennifer McPherson, who spoke about her experience with Webflow:
When did you first discover Webflow? Was there a particular project you needed it for?
I first discovered Webflow in April 2019 when some of my team came to me and asked if they could purchase a lite version of Webflow to build their project website.
Did you know about web design or website builders before using Webflow?
Yes, I was familiar with building websites before Webflow; several of my students had been building websites for many years before the switchover.
Webflow gives people the chance to learn and share their work with other people, do you think this aspect of community building is encouraging for those who have never tried web design before?
Absoutely! In the case of our particular program, we found that using Webflow encouraged all team members to get involved with the platform. This is good because we often have students working in teams of five or more, and Webflow allows them to work together.
The site includes SEO advice, advanced CMS, and domain customization, all of the design features that are essential to running a website today. How well has Webflow delivered these features? Are you comfortable using them?
Webflow’s guidance on features made the platform super accessible, easy to deploy and quickly test. Many of my students enjoy using Webflow because of its ease of accessibility and functionality.
Before starting any project, Webflow asks users a series of questions to customize their experience using the platform. Does it make it easier to navigate website design, especially for beginners who might not know what they want to create?
Absoutely! Our students come from various technical backgrounds. Some have great experience while others have none. Webflow made it easy for students to build their websites using templates and used the other tips provided to build their websites as they liked.
The most notable feature of Webflow is its ability to build and manage a website without using any code. Was this omission helpful to you? Will it encourage those who are intimidated by web design to give it a try?
Yes, the low and no code features have changed the game! As part of our program, my students have a mandatory portfolio as well as a website for their synthesis projects. Webflow made it easy for a team with less technical knowledge to build a website. And again, students are able to deploy and test it quickly, make changes, deploy and test it again!
Is there anything Webflow can offer for people who already have experience with web design and coding? would that give them a different approach?
In my experience, students with a more technical background have always used Webflow because of its ease of building, deploying, and the ability to host a website directly with the platform. Webflow enabled these students to create complex websites and portfolios while taking the stress out of web design and coding.
There are website builders similar to Webflow, like Wix and Squarespace. What makes Webflow different from them?
Webflow’s mission is to democratize building for the web and I’ve seen this as a primary goal in education, especially now with their free offering for students. Through our partnership, Webflow has continued to invest in its product to better support users. Webflow makes it easy to create and support fully customizable, immersive web experiences.
Are there any design features that the site didn’t include that you would like to see?
So far, Webflow’s design features have covered everything I’m looking for from an educator’s perspective.
Is there anything else you would like to mention about Webflow?
Webflow has been a great collaborator! I have worked with Webflow for the past few years to provide my current and former students with access to the tool. I have asked many students to create their professional portfolio using the tool, as well as their review website where they talk about their client sponsored project for spring and summer semesters.
Part of my role for our program is to research the tools that students want to use and try to build relationships with these companies and tools in order to provide students with a wide range of tools that they will use during their course. one-year professional program. and I hope beyond too. Webflow has been a great partner in this endeavor.
Featured Image: Brooke Cagle, Unsplash