I recently became a Webflow Partner aka certified Webflow Expert aka certified Fancy Webflow Developer. 😎
I'm super pumped about this new level up because, although I've been consistently getting Webflow dev projects without this certification, I still wanted to be able to put the Webflow Partner badge on my site for all to see.
When I first became interested in applying for the Webflow Partner Program, I was surprised at the lack of information I could find about people's experience with the process. My experience was also not as straight-forward as I had originally thought it would be after reading the information page from Webflow...
For these reasons, I wanted to share my own experience with the process.
To clarify, I will be talking about becoming a Webflow Professional Partner. Webflow describes Professional Partners as "Freelancers, Digital Agencies, and Consultants who provide services to self-service SMB and Mid-Market customers." I will not be talking about becoming an Enterprise Partner, which Webflow describes as "Digital Agencies and Systems Integrators who provide services on Webflow's Enterprise platform to large customers."
This post is going to cover:
- The benefits of becoming a Webflow Professional Partner
- The Webflow Partner program application requirements
- How to apply to become a Webflow Partner and what to expect during the process
- Tips from my experience
Benefits of Becoming a Professional Webflow Partner
Here's a list of the benefits in no particular order.
You can call yourself a Webflow Expert
This is all I really wanted out of this process at first... to be able to share on my freelance web development website that I was a certified Webflow Expert. I thought it would make me look better to potential clients if I was certified, especially considering that most of the Webflow specific design and development freelancers/agencies that I've come across have completed this process.
To be fair, I've not been asked by any agency I've partnered with about whether or not I was certified. For the most part, potential clients have simply been interested in the actual work I've done.
Webflow Experts listing
You also get a dedicated profile in the Professional Partners Directory that lists all of the Webflow Experts they've certified.
Potential clients can filter this directory by freelancer/agency location and/or services offered and send you a message about their project or request a quote. It's basically a free marketing tool that brings traffic to your Webflow service offering which is pretty cool.
Priority Partner support
Webflow provides customer support via email, and they aim to reply to all requests within 48 hours. As far as I understand, priority support means that your requests as a Professional Partner will be prioritized over other support tickets in the queue.
I've yet to experience this priority support, but I have high hopes because sometimes there are tight deadlines with client projects and every hour counts.
Partner portal access
Webflow calls this portal a one-stop shop for everything partnerships, including lead submission and opportunity tracking, Partnership status, helpful resources, and training materials.
Access to exclusive partner updates
Stay up to date with the Webflow product roadmap and company updates.
As a Professional Partner, you can earn a 20% commission on qualifying Site plans or Account plans (created and active) for the first 12 months, or until the subscription is canceled. This does not include Enterprise plans purchased by or on behalf of customers.
Partner Slack channel
You'll get access to the Experts Slack channel so you can chat with other Experts, share your knowledge, ask questions, stay up to date, and more. At the time of writing this, there are over 1,200 people in the Experts Slack channel.
Another email list
Lastly, you can opt-in to the Expert-only email list.
Webflow Partner Program Application Requirements
Now that we understand the benefits, let's talk about the few things you must have in order to apply for the Partner Program.
1. One Webflow University certified employee
At least one person at your agency/business needs to take and pass all four Webflow University Expert certification exams. If you're a freelancer who works alone, this person is you.
The four Webflow Certification exams include:
- Layout Level 1
- Layout Level 2
- CMS Level 1
- Webflow Experts Certification exam
The Layout exams will test your knowledge of HTML and CSS for web layouts and element positioning. The CMS exam will test your knowledge of Webflow CMS, including building a CMS, filtering your CMS lists, and best practices. The Webflow Experts exam will gauge your general proficiency with Webflow.
All of the tests include questions that range from multiple choice to true-or-false. You have to pass with a score of 88% to earn the official Webflow certificate for the exam you have completed. If you don’t receive a passing score at first, you can retake the exam up to two more times.
Make sure that you're logged in to Webflow so the certifications can be associated with your account and correct email address.
If you're new to Webflow and this all seems overwhelming, I suggest starting with the Webflow University courses to get familiar with the platform. They are broken down between beginner and advanced courses. You can also check out the Webflow University lessons that cover a LOT of topics in bite-sized chunks.
Once you feel more comfortable with Webflow you can take the Experts Certification course to learn what it will take to pass certification.
2. Three public customer sites built in Webflow
You must build a minimum of 3 customer sites using Webflow to qualify for the partner program.
During the formal application process, Webflow will request examples of these customer sites and score them using the Partner Program Grading Rubric.
The rubric is organized into four columns:
- Category: mobile responsiveness, accessibility, SEO, project settings, style guide & CSS naming conventions, and site optimization
- Description: a more specific breakdown of what tasks need to be taken care of within the categories
- Possible points: the number of points associated with completing each task correctly (for a total of 100 possible points)
- Location: where in the project (the website itself, project settings, or designer) these tasks are to be completed
If I had to guess, this is where you will spend the majority of your time, because 3 whole-ass websites built with best practices is a lot of work!
To my knowledge there are no specific requirements detailing how large or small these sites need to be (if there are please let me know so I can update this), but I chose to submit multiple page websites to make sure I was demonstrating all that I needed to show.
Webflow doesn't explicitly say this on their website, but these sites need to be original, non-template sites (unless you are utilizing a template which you have built yourself). If you submit templated sites which are not your own, your application will be rejected and you will need to re-apply at a later date.
Check out this post I made to see if your Webflow project is cloned from a template.
When I was sent the formal application link along with this warning, I low-key freaked out because I had used the Relume Style Guide to begin two of my projects and Finsweet's Client-First style guide for the third project. 🥲 I thought I was going to have to redo all three of my websites from scratch which was absolutely heart-breaking...
But before I hunkered down for another few weeks to recreate the websites, I decided to reach out to Krista Scribner, the Partner Program Manager, for clarification about the non-template rule.
I asked her "if a site was cloned from a style guide only (example: Finsweet's or Relume's Client-first style guide), will the site be rejected?" She told me that this would be fine.
I also asked "if a site was originally cloned from a template/wireframe but was then eventually completely overhauled to something totally new will this will be rejected upon application review?" to which she replied "as long as the site looks completely different from the original template, my Partner Solutions Engineer will likely review it".
Even though I was relieved to hear this straight from the source, I did include a small blurb in my application that told whoever was reading through my answers that I did confirm that my cloned sites from a style guide were deemed okay just to cover all my bases.
The last thing I want to mention here for anyone who might find themself in a similar position to me is that I simply did not have 3 sites built specifically for paying clients at the time of applying. However, I did have 3 fully built-out sites (copywriting and all) of my own to submit. One was created for my previous business, one is still an ongoing personal project, and one was a demo for a potential client. I made sure to host these on a custom domain (not a webflow.io subdomain) and submit them.
3. A Webflow Partner page
If you don't have a website to sell your Webflow design and/or development offerings yet, now is the time to make one, because you must have or create a landing page on your site that showcases your Webflow services before applying.
You can see my Webflow services site here as an example. I strictly offer Webflow development for design and branding agencies using Webflow and other no-code tools.
How to Apply to Become a Webflow Partner
Once you've completed the 4 assessments, prepared 3 sites, and created a landing page for your services, you are officially ready to apply to become a Webflow Partner.
Step 1: Fill out the inquiry form on Webflow's site
Visit Webflow's official Partner Program information page and fill out the inquiry form.
Step 2: Submit your sites using the formal application
After submitting the initial inquiry form, you will receive an email from the Partner team with more information about the process as well as a link to the formal application. It will look like this:
This formal application is where you will share more information about you, your Webflow experience, what type of services you offer, and be able to submit your sites.
I was not expecting this formal application to be as in-depth as it was so I'm here to tell you to be prepared for...
Questions about yourself and your company:
- Company name (I do have an LLC as a freelancer, but if I didn't have a formally registered business I'd probably answer "Freelancer" or "Self-employed")
- The number of employees that work at your company
- Where you're located
Questions about your Webflow experience:
- How long have you been using Webflow?
- How many sites have you launched on Webflow?
- How many Webflow sites do you expect to add in the next 6 months?
- What type of services do you offer?
- Which industry (or industries) do you primarily specialize in?
Questions about your process, your clients, and your availability:
- This is where you will submit your customer site links. When submitting these sites, submit the actual live site URL (www.yoursite.com) NOT a preview/read-only link.
- How do you communicate with your clients? *You can tell us about your intake process, how you handle issues, etc.
- Outside of Webflow, which web design/CMS do your customers seem utilize the most?
- How many projects are you actively working on?
- On average, how long does it take for you to complete a Webflow project?
- Are you currently accepting new client projects?
- Can you give us an example of a recent client testimonial or client review? Please include the client name, project description, and completed date. Wow us! 😉
Step 3: Wait for approval
Once you've submitted the formal application, sit back and wait for your application to be assessed.
My application was approved within a month, however, please note that this step could potentially take weeks or months depending on the backlog of applications the Partner team has to review.
If all goes well, you'll receive that sweet sweet email.
Tips from my experience with the process
- You can submit the initial inquiry form before you finish the assessments or have your sites ready, because Webflow will not take a look at your submitted customer sites until your certification exams are completed/passed.
- If you aren't sent the formal application within a few weeks after submitting the initial inquiry form, reach out to the Webflow Partner Team at firstname.lastname@example.org to make sure your inquiry wasn't missed (this happened to me)
- Be patient! In my conversations with the Partner team I was told "Right now, we are prioritizing applications and acceptances based upon a number of different factors as we simply cannot admit everyone into the ecosystem. It may take several weeks to several months for Webflow to get back to you depending on the backlog of applications and how your application is prioritized."
If you have any questions, let me know and I'll try my best to help out.