Our top 10 articles of 2017

Wanting more than just another self-lauding listicle, I thought we'd take a look at not only what was popular last year — but also why.

John Moore Williams
January 4, 2018
Announcements

January never fails to inspire a little introspection. And when that introspection involves work (and defining a new year’s goals), it inevitably requires a close look at hard numbers. (A luxury — or curse, depending on your perspective — our personal lives rarely afford us.)

So with the luxury of having a few analytical tools to boil down an entire year’s hard work into numbers, I’m happy to report the following:

In 2017, the Webflow blog garnered over 1.5 million pageviews and nearly 12 thousand shares — all while maintaining an average time on page of just under 2 minutes. Over all, those numbers mean we’re creating significant traffic, writing stuff you like enough to share at a pretty decent rate. And, for the most part, we’re keeping you fairly engaged.

But numbers always require a little peeling back. And the first natural question is: what kinds of posts create that sort of traffic and sharing?

To answer that question, I thought I’d highlight 2017’s top 10 blog posts. But instead of just another ho-hum retrospective, I want to highlight what these popular articles say about you, the readers, as well as us at Webflow.

With that in mind, here’s what blogging in 2017 taught me about you, and us.

1. We want to know what’s next

No matter how deeply you’re invested in creativity and newness — as any creative is — there’s something unnerving about the future. It’s a vast, undiscovered country sprawling before us without a single marked road to guide us. And yet, inevitably, we’ll move forward into it, and start blazing our trails, naming our walks.

When enough of us share a certain lane, we’ll name it, maybe call it a trend, a movement, a tendency. 50 years from now, design historians might look back and call it the birth of an age-defining aesthetic.

For now, we’re just left guessing. So it’s no wonder we write trend posts. If only to provide ourselves with the feeling that someone else has been here before us, even if it was just our imaginations …

Despite being published on December 8, 2017 — just a month ago, as of this writing — 19 web design trends for 2018 has already rocketed to the top of our most-shared posts of 2017.

In fact, it’s currently sitting at #2 all-time.

To be fair, we knew this was coming. 18 web design trends for 2017, last year’s iteration of the same theme, is our most-shared post all-time (for now). Which is, of course, why we wrote this year’s iteration.

Expect to see us pondering these threads of the creative conversation more regularly in 2018.

2. We want to know what’s best

Next to our anxiety about the great unknown that is the future, we’re also plagued by uncertainty around our own actions — the feeling that, while we think we know what we’re doing, maybe we actually don’t?

It’s enough to make you put question marks on the end of declarative sentences.

It also explains our industry’s yen for best practices posts. Not how-tos, which are of course invaluable, but guides to the best ways to do things.

More freeform than your average tutorial, they leave a lot of room for experimentation and creativity by outlining the no-man’s-lands. The dark woods, the places you never want to go. Like the compositional rules that guide the writing of haiku, they provide the sort of limitations that become generative rather than restrictive — allowing you to create a delightful experience within a well-defined context.

In 2018, look forward to more content on recommended processes, well-tested tools, and best practices for specific design deliverables (as well as a few more “how not tos”).

3. We want to be inspired

Of course, every creative professional’s worst fear is the loss of inspiration. It’s our industry’s answer to a runner’s broken ankle, or a painter’s creeping blindness — not necessarily career-killers, but definitely imposing obstacles.

So it’s no wonder you all visited us for unique website layouts. Or first 17, then 22 loveable sources of design inspiration. Or amazing agency websites.

In keeping with the aforementioned content trends, we’ll be doubling down on finding and sharing sources of inspiration.

What do you want to read in 2018?

In case it’s not obvious by now: I’m sharing a significant chunk of my content strategy for 2018 with you, right here.

But no content strategy is complete without reader input. So let me know: what do you want to read more of on the Webflow blog?

Just keep in mind that, going forward, the University will be your go-to for Webflow-specific stuff. We’ll still talk about things like Webflow’s SEO capabilities, or the value of HTML5 tags, but we likely won’t be doing much more in the way of tutorials.

John Moore Williams

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

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