How to Export Webflow Code — A Guide by Webflow Developer

Kennedy Rose
June 6, 2022

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Developers who come from a non-Webflow background might be apprehensive about using Webflow for their project. Especially if they have their own technical requirements for the project.Fortunately, Webflow lets you export entire Webflow projects as static HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. This opens up Webflow for a variety of different use cases since you can edit the exported code however you need to.

Exporting Code From Webflow

Exporting your code is as simple as hitting the export icon in the upper right corner of the Webflow designer.

From there, Webflow will generate a zip file containing your exported Webflow project.

Larger sites may take a little longer to generate, but this usually doesn't take any longer than a few seconds.

What’s Included in a Webflow Export

Your zip file will include the following contents:

  • HTML: All single pages and collection templates.
  • CSS: Webflow's CSS as well as Normalize.css.
  • JS: This contains JS necessary for interactions and animations. You can delete this file for better performance if you don't need those things.
  • Images: Contains all images uploaded to the media library as well as favicons.

The export may include some external scripts and libraries from remote URLs, including jQuery, IE9 polyfills, and Google web fonts.

What’s Not Included

Features that require Webflow's APIs will no longer work on your exported site. This includes ecommerce, site search, password protection, and form handling.

Collection data is not included by default. Webflow will not generate a separate HTML page for each collection item. It will only generate 1 HTML page template for each collection. So if you are using collections, keep in mind you will have to "reassemble" your data with your page templates.

Exporting Collections

To export your collections, navigate to the collection type you'd like to export, and click the export button at the top.

Collections export out as CSV files. It will contain all CMS data for that collection as well as any custom fields you have added.

Export Minified Files

Under the hosting tab in your site settings, toggle on "Minify CSS" and "Minify JS" if you want those files minified.

HTML, however, cannot be minified in exports. That option only works when hosting with Webflow.

Add Form Submission Functionality

Since the Webflow form submission API will not work with exported sites, you will need to find an alternative way of handling form submissions.

The easiest way is to use a third party to handle your forms. HubSpot and Getform are both great solutions with free plans available if your use case is low-usage.

Another option is to point the form action to your own API endpoint if you need your own custom functionality for handling form submissions. You can edit the "action" attribute of any form in the Webflow designer. You can have your endpoint perform some kind of server-side action, and then redirect back to a success page within your Webflow site when finished.

Why Export Code from Webflow?

There are many reasons you may want to export code from your Webflow site. Since the export is just raw HTML and CSS, you can probably find a use for Webflow in almost any project. Here are a few examples:

Adding Missing Features

Webflow is missing a few common features that other platforms commonly provide, including:

  • WebP
  • Uploading files to the root
  • Adding PWA support
  • More control over redirects

By exporting your site's code, you can modify the project to include these things, and then host the modified files elsewhere.

Export Code for Static Websites

Exported sites work great when uploaded to a static website host, even without any kind of modification.

Some of these hosts include:

Export Code for Simple Apps

Some types of simple apps can work great with Webflow. Exporting code can let you pepper your Webflow templates with data and dynamic functionality.

Ideally, you will want to add as much of your app code in Webflow as you can to make future exports easier. For example, if you are exporting your Webflow site to be used as a PHP template, you should put your PHP tags directly in your Webflow templates if you can. This way, you won't have to manually add the PHP tags after every export.

When Not to Export Code from Webflow?

Converting Webflow Exports for Other Frameworks

Although it's possible to use Webflow exported sites with other website platforms like Shopify or WordPress, I wouldn't recommend it.

Shopify and WordPress have many no-code apps/plugins for editing templates without code, like Elementor and Builder.io. Reaching for one of these might be a better option since you will likely wind up installing one of these apps/plugins to edit your design after it's converted anyways.

If You Want to Keep Editing in Webflow After Exporting

You might want to reconsider exporting if you want to keep editing your site in Webflow after exporting. There is currently no API for exporting sites, which means there's no reliable way of automating an export after every change.

Complex Apps With a Lot of Custom Functionality

Webflow exporting might not be a good fit for complex apps for many of the same reasons listed above. The export will need to be manually downloaded, edited, and uploaded in such a way that can work with your custom functionality every time it needs to be synchronized.

for many of the same reasons listed above. The export will need to be manually downloaded, edited, and uploaded in such a way that can work with your custom functionality every time it needs to be synchronized.

Here are a few alternatives to exporting that may work better with complex apps:

  • Embedding your app directly on a Webflow page with JS or an iframe
  • Use Cloudflare Workers to dynamically modify pages at the CDN level
  • Use DesignSync.js to use Webflow pages as React components

FAQ’s

Can you export a Webflow project for free?

No. Webflow requires a paid plan in order to export your Webflow projects. However, you don't need to continue paying for a Webflow plan after you have already exported your project.

Does Webflow export clean code OR Does Webflow generate production quality HTML and CSS?

Webflow is a great alternative to many other no-code builders because it generates very clean HTML and CSS. The editor makes it impossible to generate invalid HTML, unless you embed your own.

The quality of the code exported is still somewhat dependent on the design. It's still up to the Webflow designer to make good decisions like reusing selectors to reduce the amount of CSS, and not having a completely different set of elements for different breakpoints.

Can you remove Webflow branding on exported sites?

Yes. Webflow will permit you to remove their attribution from the corner if you are exporting to host your site elsewhere.

Can you continue to edit your Webflow site after it has been exported?

Since the exports are static, your exported site will not stay in sync with any updates you've made to your Webflow project after exporting. You will need to re-export your site if you want a copy of a newly updated Webflow project.