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How to power your freelance web design business with Webflow – for free

Find out how to get your web design business up and running with Webflow. Without paying a cent.

John Moore Williams
April 3, 2017
Entrepreneurship

Whether you’re looking to break free of the 9 to 5 life and start your own freelance design business, or you’re part of a scrappy crew of creatives about to found your own design agency, you need state-of-the-art tools that aren’t going to destroy your bottom line.

Thankfully, you can use Webflow for free.

Yep, that’s right. Free. Zip, zilch, zero, nada per month. $0 a year.

How?!

Well, it’s pretty simple:

1. Sign up for a free Starter plan

Just click that “Try Webflow free” button in the upper right of your screen right now. Or go to webflow.com and sign up. It’d be cool if you used the button here though. Helps my conversion rates.

I’ll wait a beat while you do that.

Done? Okay, cool. Let’s move on.

2. Start building a site

Now, just start designing. Enjoy the freedom that comes from knowing that you’ve got a blank canvas to bring your ideas to life on, and Webflow’s super-clean code to power it all. Create a few Collections to hold your client’s content, and thrill at the ease with which you can create highly structured content — again, without even thinking about code!

With less time and money spent on your design tools, you can spend more time on other key parts of your design business. Like finding new customers.

The missing guide to the freelance designer's life is here

Learn everything you need to know about making the leap to freelancing, from how to find clients to how to price your services.

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3. Set up Client Billing

Once you and your client are comfortable with your design progress and the platform, set yourself up for Client Billing, the automated billing tool we built right into Webflow.

Once you’ve done that, switch over to your project’s Settings, enter the client info, and define how much you want to charge your client every month.

Let’s pause on that for a second though: with Client Billing, you set the cost your client pays for their site, not us.

That means you can take the monthly hosting cost, add any maintenance fees you need, then toss on a little pure profit if it fits the client’s budget. This is a great way to not only make a little extra revenue for your business every month, but also establish an ongoing relationship with your client, so you can continue providing them with services, building trust, and making even more when their web needs grow!

4. Set up Webflow Hosting on your client’s custom domain

With your “prototype” of the client’s site approved, and Client Billing set up, it’s time to set up hosting with us. Webflow Hosting is powered by Fastly and AWS, so you and your business’ clients will enjoy world-class page load times along with extreme reliability — and none of the hassles of unmanaged hosting.

At this point, you’ll be able to create all the pages and CMS items you need to flesh out your client’s site, review it, and when all is approved and looking beautiful, launch!

Note: on our Starter plan, you won’t be able to whitelabel your billing forms or the CMS, so your client will know you use Webflow. If that concerns you, you can upgrade to a Pro or Team plan so your clients always see your logo (or theirs!) — never Webflow’s. Granted that’s at least $35 a month (billed annually), but between all your new clients and your shiny new monthly profit, Webflow should easily pay for itself.

5. Rinse and repeat

Because we don’t do trials, and hosted projects don’t count against the Starter plan’s 2 site limit, you can use this process as long as you’d like. And when your business is ready for powerful extra features like more unhosted projects, whitelabeling, code export, password protection, and the Team Dashboard, an upgrade is just a couple clicks away.

John Moore Williams

Head of Content Strategy at Webflow. Nice to meet ya. Follow me @JohnAMWill.

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