It can be difficult to understand where to start when building a website on Webflow. Webflow templates are easy to implement, but cloneables are also part of the mix. What’s the difference between the two, and which is the right option for you? We discuss the details.
First, what is a Webflow template?
Templates on Webflow work a lot like they do on other platforms. They are basically a visual and experience blueprint for your website; basic schematics that make building a website a lot easier by giving you a solid starting point.
With over 3,000 templates, Webflow offers quite a few to choose from, and they’re a great place to start if you’re looking to build a personal website, like a portfolio or small business marketing site. Webflow has a spectrum of both free and paid template options, and they’re made available by the company itself, individuals, and agencies.
But let’s note this first though: At Edgar Allan, we don’t typically use templates — most of the time it just doesn’t fit the way we view the world of brand-to-build creation. We have, however, created a couple quite nice Webflow templates. We’ve also built a couple cloneables, which are a part of the bigger picture of why we love Webflow so much. The point: templates and cloneables have a definite place in the digital experience world. And especially if you’re looking for design inspiration or a solid direction to base your site on, exploring Webflow’s library of templates could be a good starting point.
A Webflow cloneable is a website or component of a website that someone (either an individual or an agency) has built in Webflow, usually for a specific purpose. They are free and shareable “clones” that perform a function and can be anything from as broad as an entire website to as narrow as a specific animation.
At first mention, this sounds a lot like a template — that’s because in a way, it is. If you think of a template like a blueprint, a cloneable is more like an appliance. It’s a fully-formed, pre-built piece of or whole page(s) of a site that performs a specific function, and it’s ready to go right out of the box.
When you implement a cloneable, you get what’s advertised, whatever that component, group of component, page, or group of pages is. And once you click “clone in Webflow,” you’ll have the ability to see it and customize it right in the builder, with complete freedom to do whatever you want with it.
For example, if you find a cloneable of a hero slider that you really love, you can implement that slider directly in your own website. And this kind of situation is just when exploring Webflow’s cloneable options is a great idea — when you’re looking for something to fulfill a specific purpose, like an animation, interaction, or even a CMS template.
Webflow cloneables (and templates) are evidence of a larger piece of what makes Webflow so amazing — the Webflow community. Exploring Made in Webflow, even for a few minutes, gives you a great idea of the staggering amount of work that’s being made on the platform. Animations, CMS designs, ecommerce implementations, and more are all available either for free (as cloneables) or simply as inspiration.
We’ve also found over our nearly 10 years as a Webflow agency that the community is a wildly collaborative and incredibly helpful group of which to be a part — and it’s a huge reason we are so devoted to the platform. Facing an issue trying to implement something new? Dig into the community. Odds are, someone has already answered your question, but if they haven’t, you’ll probably get an awesome, thoughtful response from a complete stranger.
Here are a few Webflow templates that we like:
Tokyo – a free, CMS-ready Webflow blog template
Noteable – an elegant personal blog template
Fitensso – a free ecommerce-ready template built for fitness coaches, but translatable to other small business applications
Sign – a cool, one-page portfolio template for freelancers and small agencies
Some of our favorite (and free!) cloneables:
Knockout – we’re pretty biased with this one (we made it)
The Greatest Infinite Marquee – a rolling infinite marquee
Know Thy Scroll Position – a simple page scroll progress bar
Nature Morte – a fun animation and component for studying artwork
Parallax Effect Animation – exactly what it sounds like — a parallax scrolling animation
Edgar Allan is a brand- and content-focused Webflow agency. Check out our blog to learn more about our content strategy, project management, and our approach to Webflow.