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Demystifying authoring roles in Webflow

Article
People

Demystifying authoring roles in Webflow

Katrina
December 16, 2022

As a visual content management system (CMS), Webflow allows teams to move faster together by empowering more people to work from their strengths. In fact, at Edgar Allan we have a saying: “Everyone in the pool!”

So whether you’re just learning how to use Webflow, or you’re a seasoned developer, don’t be afraid to jump into your Webflow website or offer Webflow support to your clients, because there’s an authoring role with the functionality that’s right for you.

How can technical and non-technical people work together in Webflow?

By the time you’re at the bottom of this page, we hope we can:

  • Provide guidance around how to structure Webflow roles within your team, as well as within any given individual project.
  • Help you better consider what types of skill sets or positions you need to assign within Webflow to support your organization’s use of the platform, whether smaller in scale or at the Enterprise tier.

Keep in mind that the level of success that you and your team experience through assigned roles is contingent on capitalizing on everyone’s strengths. This is something we’ve implemented throughout our own Webflow agency. Everyone at Edgar Allan uses Webflow on a regular basis, whether they’re a technical person or not, and everyone is assigned a role that fits their own particular responsibilities.

Note that, for the sake of example, in each of the following cases team members have a workflow that allows for the maximum amount of authoring power, without compromise.

Who’s who in a Webflow workflow?

Within Webflow there are two main (or native) roles: editor and designer.

But here’s a more nuanced breakdown of all authoring roles within Webflow based on tools used, responsibilities, and qualifications.

Who is a Webflow editor?

Tools:

This might sound obvious, but an editor uses the Webflow editor.
Responsibilities:

As an editor, this team member makes content updates, including editing text on the page within the existing text layout, or adding new content by filling out a form — for example, a blog post (like this one!) with predefined fields for content, such as title, author, category, and body copy. They can also add or swap out images, and add custom SEO content, such as title tags and metadata descriptions for SEO.
Qualifications:

This role is nontechnical. The Webflow editor is a simple tool that requires little training. An editor’s responsibilities usually align with copywriters, content managers, content designers, or anyone who needs to be able to make quick text or image updates — without changing up the current structure of a page.

Who is a Webflow designer?

Tools:

A designer uses the Webflow designer. Again: Simple but true!

Responsibilities:

A designer structures pages using elements, which are styled by defining specific colors, typography, line height, and the like. Someone in this role can also create components as needed (usually for navigation bars, footers, buttons and signup forms), or use components built by the Developer Role (which we’ll talk about here in a bit) to create full pages. The goal of this role is not to create any back-end structural elements; this is more of a high-powered authoring role, positioning individual visual building blocks and pulling content into the framework.

Qualifications:

This role is for those who are comfortable with visual layout tools, such as Adobe Photoshop or Figma.

What is a “limited designer?”

Tools:

If you’re an Enterprise Webflow client, you have an additional role to consider: Limited Designer. This is a person whose role requires they periodically make more dramatic visual changes to a web page than simply editing text or swapping imagery, but who doesn’t need to change the structure or functionality of pages. If you want to know more, we’ve got a whole article on it.

Responsibilities:

The short version: This person might have the needs of an editor, but might also have some design experience, and need to jump into the Webflow designer to access Webflow components (formerly called symbols) with content overrides, add said components, or change images, text, videos, or links in a component. Basically, this role is really all about offering large teams another strata of control. This person is able to move some things around on the page, for example, without needing to worry about configuring divs (building elements) and classes (styling). It’s also worth noting that a limited designer can’t publish the site: another feature necessary on large teams with layers of approval between creative work and implementation.

Qualifications:

This role is somewhat technical and requires some training in Webflow, but doesn’t really necessitate any outside design knowledge.

Who is a Webflow developer?

Tools:

The nomenclature here is a bit misleading. A developer still works within the Webflow designer, but also has the ability to make technical updates to the site overall.

Responsibilities:

This role knows Webflow inside and out, and is well-versed in setting up CSS frameworks. A developer expands the capabilities of Webflow by adding custom code to build complex elements, interactions, and animations. They can also work with Webflow’s API to connect external data sources for migrating content, or set up integrations and other extensions that require development work.

Qualifications:

A developer should know their way around the design side of a site, but also be comfortable making technical adjustments throughout.

Who is a Webflow marketing technologist?

Tools:

A marketing technologist should be familiar with Webflow in general, as well as traditional full-stack tools.

Responsibilities:

A marketing technologist is an extension of a developer. The team member in this role helps with a variety of items, from integrations to pushing the Webflow build to production. This role work much within the Webflow environment; their primary job is to provide strategic support to marketing teams by managing the coordinations and integrations of all tools used and their related workflows — including Webflow, Salesforce for lead capture, and other middleware software tools. They have a level of control over what’s being published on Webflow, and when. They also work to configure Webflow instances and manage content deployments, either by using a reverse proxy to merge them into a larger site infrastructure, or a solution like Edgar Allan’s own Wes (Webflow Enterprise System), using a staging environment to push individual stages and updates as needed onto the live environment.

Qualifications:

While this role is extremely technical, it doesn’t require deep knowledge of Webflow itself, or of any specific tool. The marketing technologist may have managed other deployments previously on other systems, like Sitecore or Adobe Experience Manager (AEM), but now will need to manage the Webflow deployments, as well… in addition to knowing how Webflow fits within the company’s tech stack and site architecture.

All in all, no matter the size of your organization, or your site, Webflow allows you to give individuals more access to create and publish content as it makes sense for their unique roles.  In this way, you’re setting up yourself and your team for a better digital experience with a platform and authoring roles as versatile as you need them to be.

Looking for more Webflow insights? Browse our blog and make sure to send us a message if you’d like to learn more about partnering with Edgar Allan for your next project.

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